Saturday, August 29, 2009
So it’s Saturday evening around six o’clock. I have been lazy all day, but I did get my laundry done and that is a process! We have a washing machine but it doesn’t fill with water so we have to fill it with jugs from the sink. It takes about 8 pitchers full to do the first cycle. Then once it stops again you have to fill it with 8 more pitchers and start the rinse cycle. And then, I know it’s lazy, but you have to hang up every piece so that it will dry! I can appreciate it for its simple beauty, but I’m definitely not used to it.
I have to tell you about the third grade teacher Erika, she has quickly become a very important friend to me. She has helped us with a lot since school started and she has a loving wonderful personality. She took us out last night, along with another teacher named Dirian to a great restaurant for steak and beer. The restaurant was like a big tree house. It was awesome. The food was great, the ambiance beautiful, and the company a blast! We laughed hard and finally had a chance to be together without the stress of school being the subject of our conversation.
Erika is on her way over now with her 8 month old baby so we can meet him. I’m very excited to meet him. I’m so thankful to have a friend I trust here and I feel as if she is thankful that she has three new friends also.
When I go to the home I feel I am chatting with the same girls every time. I want to meet more of the girls but I’m not sure how to approach them. It seems as if I have met all the girls that are excited about meeting the new volunteers, the others I will have to approach slowly one on one. This just takes time I guess.
So in the middle of writing this our friend Erika came over. She brought me food and it was amazing. She had mashed potatoes, rice, and shrimp in her own homemade breading. It was delicious… My explanation will never do it justice. Anyway, she has the sweetest little one. I was really happy to have some baby time.
I had a weird dream last night that made me really miss my family and friends when I woke up in the morning. I had my first, o crap I’m still in Honduras moment. I know that these are normal and to be expected so I just tried to get out of my funk anyway I can. Reading The Color Purple has been wonderful. I also spent time just relaxing with Brenda and Emily. I’m so thankful for their friendship. Seeing the girls helps too, but what really made me feel better today was chatting on skype. I know I have said this before but when I feel as if I can’t do this, or that I don’t want to, I just remember how many people love me and are supporting me in this adventure. I will persevere! It was really nice to have Erika come over tonight too! I’m glad to be making friends.
I will get up early tomorrow to go to church with the girls again. I wasn’t a huge fan of the church last time but I did really appreciate the time to connect with more of the girls. I have to finish folding my laundry too before bed.
Peace be with you.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
So I have almost one full week of teaching down. I think I am starting to get the hang of it. I feel less threatened by the kids or something. I go in there now knowing that I am the teacher and that they know that. All of us in the house go through our days where we feel like we wish we hadn’t done this, chosen to be a teacher for a year, but usually we all wake up out of our funk for the next day. This is sure a hard thing to do with no training. I’m doing my best but I know I could do much better if I had studied teaching in school. I guess if it wasn’t a requirement then I shouldn’t be too worried about it.
Yesterday we had a chapel service before school started. I had a very strange experience during the Eucharist. As the children lined up to receive communion there was a teacher asking “eres bautizado?” Are you baptized? When they answered no she literally turned them around to get out of line. I was so disgusted. I guess most of the faith communities I have been a part my whole life feel that everyone is welcomed to God’s table. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I for the first time in my life, that I can remember anyway, chose to not go up for communion. I struggled with the desire to have communion, something I have always loved, but to go up made me feel as if I thought I was better than all the little children who had not been baptized. So I stood there trying to get a hold of what was happening in front of me. I had a third grader ask if she could go up even though she wasn’t baptized, I told her we could go up together with our arms crossed and receive a blessing but she didn’t want to stand out like that. Ugh, it just broke my heart. I can look at it now and realize that its probably typical of the Honduran churches to be very traditional in this way but that still doesn’t make it right for me. I’m still trying to decide whether I want to take communion next week or choose to not receive unless all are welcome.
Today I only had three classes so I had the whole afternoon to prep for next weeks lessons. It was great to get those done and makes me feel eager about the weekend and not doing much by way of teaching. Tomorrow I have all six classes. I’ll be pooped tomorrow afternoon but at least I will have earned my weekend
Yesterday and today Emily and I went over to the school/home campus to run. We went after a nap and then after we run we hang out with the girls and eat dinner at the home. Tonight we had baleadas. It’s a Honduran food, not really that special it seems, but definitely the crepe to France. It’s a tortilla with refried beans, special cheese, sour cream and sometimes meat or avocado in the middle if your are lucky. I think it tastes good but its not anything to um… write home about… but I guess I am. So maybe it is? Haha.
There are a couple of young girls at the home who like to come sit on my lap every once in awhile. I hug them super tight and picture Dash and Emmanuel in my arms. I’m so thankful to have little ones around in their absence but I really miss those sweet nephews of mine!
That’s all for now, I’m going to read The Color Purple for a bit and then head to bed. I’m a working woman now and I gotta get my sleep. I’m not used to looking forward to going to bed by nine.
Monday, August 24, 2009
These pictures are out of order but the first one is what the three of us felt like after teaching all day and the second one is of me the morning before I left :-) Had to take a picture of my first day as a teacher!
Well today was my first day of teaching. It was a long exhausting day but overall I feel pretty good about it. I survived and that’s all I’m hoping for. Its going to take me awhile to get used to the chaos of elementary school classrooms but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it. My first day included accidently reprimanding a kid named Julio by the name of Josue. The funny thing is Josue is a really sweet kid in the class who does everything perfectly. He came up to me and said Miss Hannah (I wish I could record their sweet accent and way of saying my name) I Josue, he Julio. I felt so bad. I apologized and he seemed to not be too traumatized.
Here is another story that shows how in over my head I feel. All the students gather in the chapel in the morning to say our school prayer and sing sanctuary (really out of tune and so slow you forget the next word before it comes) (( and yes the sanctuary we all sang at church camp at one time or another you know it… ) Anyway at this gathering I walked into the middle of the chapel and sat with some of the kids I knew were in third grade. The director Diana started talking and I realized I was the only teacher not standing on the edge. I decided after a minute or two of debating that I should probably stand up and not do anything that could make students question my authority on the first day. So I waited for the appropriate moment and stood up. TADA, I’m a big kid now I decided not to feel embarrassed about it because I like what it says about how I like to do things and that I wanted to be an equal with the students but I also think its good that I stood up in the end.
I had a great talk with my family tonight. I left my headset at home (probably the thing I need most to feel comfortable) to talk on skype but Emily my housemate let me borrow her amazingly wonderful mac in order to talk to my whole family. They had lots of good ideas and helped me laugh about my stressful day. I feel much happier about tomorrow than I thought I would. I am consistently amazed at how good I feel during this whole process. I wonder when the really hard culture shock will set in, I know it will and I will be ready
Today after school I stopped at the pulperia (a little shop) for a 2 liter of coke and three eggs. I love that I can just go buy eggs there whenever. Hopefully I get up in time tomorrow morning to make myself an egg… it is kinda late already so maybe they will have to wait till Wednesday. Do eggs always have to be in the fridge? The eggs from the pulperia were definitely not in anything cold… I bet they are already hard boiled just from sitting out in the heat and humidity of Honduras
My ants are keeping me company now. Does it say something about solitude when you are saying goodnight to your ants?
I started reading The Color Purple. I hate to admit that I haven’t read it before. I’m really enjoying it and I think reading here is going to give me a much needed break from school stuff. TV can also but it gets exhausting watching Spanish television, one because I have to think harder and two because they have wild crazy lots of color and craziness going on. There are several good books here that other volunteers have left so that’s good news. I’m also reading Don Quijote in Spanish again so that I can keep studying it.
My sister Xan reminded me tonight to not make any overarching claims about my ability to teach or how much I like it after just one day. I think she is right. It may grow on me, and you can never judge something on one day anyway right? Good thing I have 32 weeks and 4 days to go
Tonight I leave you with a bit of mother tongue that is on a bag my aunt, uncle, and cousins gave me as a parting gift. I have been feeling how true this is in my supportive family and friends back home as well as the wonderful community I have already made with the teachers at the school and my housemates…
I am what I am because of who we are
Sunday, August 23, 2009
So tomorrow morning I start teaching! I have to be there at six thirty! Everyone who knows me will know that this will be a feat in itself. I’m not a morning person but I’m sure that at least for the first week the adrenaline of being a real teacher without any real training will get me up and excited before school start. I don’t know about the next ten months… haha but I’ll give it my all.
Tonight I was chatting with my roommates in the hall before we all went to our rooms for the night and we laughed hard because I was saying that I’m hoping while I sleep I have some major transformation and start to feel like a teacher. I then said, “I think once I have my costume on I’ll feel more… “ and then we laughed hard that I called it my costume. Clearly I feel like I am going to have to do some pretending. Everyone is saying that you must start out firm and then sweeten up as the kids learn to behave and follow my rules. I think this will be hard for me cause I’ll just want to joke around and laugh with the kids right away. Although, I do think it is good advice. It will be important that the kids know that just because I am not from Honduras doesn’t mean they can mess with me and that I don’t know what they are saying and such. I think because I have younger kids I will have to deal less with the students questioning authority but I still might have some of that.
I had a relaxing weekend and I actually feel ready for tomorrow. I don’t feel as stressed out and nervous as I thought I would. This is a huge relief. I have gotten over my sickness for the time being and I’m so thankful. I went to the grocery store and bought everything but rice on the BRAT diet; Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast. I have had my fill of rice but just eating toast and bananas I think really helped my system get back to normal. It makes thinking about tomorrow much easier when I know that I won’t have to rush to the teacher’s bathroom
I went to church with the girls from the home today. It was an overall enjoyable experience although it seems as if the church is struggling a bit. Our Little Roses makes up pretty much the whole church. They go to the cathedral and the bishop seemed a bit out of touch. During his sermon he actually stopped to ask one of the girls to pick their head up and pay attention. I think it’s a shame that he embarrassed her in front of everyone. That wouldn’t make me want to come back. Anyway, on the way there a sweet little five year old named Vanesa sat on my lap on the bus. I was moved by her desire to really cuddle in close into my arms. I can only imagine what it must be like to live in an orphanage when you are five years old. Would anyone like to have 60 sisters? I love my sisters but 60 of them? I really treasure that 20 minutes of her in my arms. I hope she did too.
Ok off to bed. Gotta be up at 5:00 am! Yikes!
I was able to check my email again today. I had a couple emails from family and friends that made me so happy. I know that I can do this adventure because I have so much love and support from my communities in the United States. Thanks for supporting me so lovingly.
I was up all night last night from being sick. I’m not sure whether it’s the heat or the food and water but I was not feeling good today. I went to the store with my housemates though and got some pepto bismol. It has given me some relief which I am thankful for. We had a taxi driver named Danilo that drove us to the store and then gave us his cell phone number so we could call him when we needed to be picked up. It is so nice to know that we can call a taxi who is familiar with Our Little Roses and is eager to help us. I am probably going to work on getting a cell phone specifically for this reason. I think because of the possible dangers of where I live it would be better if I always had the ability to call for help.
This morning Brenda woke me up because the washing machine fix it man was here. He had some questions and they needed me to translate. Sometimes I get nervous and feel as if I don’t really know any Spanish, but when I get a chance to use it and can have a productive conversation I feel so happy. I just love Spanish!
We are heading to church tomorrow with the girls. I’m eager for the service and I really hope its in Spanish. I think it would be so fun to hear the liturgy in Spanish. I wonder if it will have the same, less or more of an effect in another language.
Tomorrow I will be busy busy busy practicing and getting ready for school. I have nested in my room a little more today so it feels picked up and ready to be a good work place for me after church. I have lots of little ant friends that I seem to not be able to get rid of. Yes mom, I have not left any food out ;-) I’m trying to just send them love and feel connected to them like Lily does with her bees. (I will send them love and ask them not to crawl on my toothbrush )
That’s all for now,
Love to you all,
I haven’t written in a couple days. Probably because the excitement and adrenaline of arriving in a totally new place started to wear off on Tuesday after I found out how much work it is going to take to teach. In the past couple of days that I have not written in my blog, I haven’t really had access to internet, but nor have I felt moved to write… probably because of the stress I was feeling around teaching. I have written nine yearly plans, three weekly plans (I have to finish the rest of them tomorrow I just can’t stay up any later) and counted, sorted, and evaluated gobs of textbooks in order to be ready for my students to start on Monday!
I’m starting to understand just how hard a teacher’s job really is. I mean, not only is it controlling and motivating a lot of students, but teachers become responsible for how well the students learn the information. I feel lost right now because I don’t know how well the kids speak English, let alone whether they can read or write it. I think the only thing I can do is just go with the flow and do my best. It will take some time getting used to the ages of my students and understanding how much knowledge they already have.
One thing that is so irritating is that our books are all published in the United States. The curriculum I have to work with is for American students. It’s wonderful that the books are donated and they are probably better than anything the Honduran Education Ministry can come up with but it seems unfair that the Honduran children have to learn through the recycled culture of the United States. Let me give you an example… My first reading lesson for the first graders is about the book When This Box is Full, the illustrations are by Donald Crew but I can’t remember the author right now. The lesson focuses on learning the months of the year (great for kids who are learning English) and the four seasons (not so great for Hondurans who only experience summer, and a little bit of a rainy season). So this book talks about things that represent the seasons. The first thing they mention is a snowman’s scarf… wish me luck explaining this to kids who have never even seen snow… Not even atop the beautiful mountains that surround the city of San Pedro Sula. All you can do is laugh at this situation. I will do my best with what I have.
This morning I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything that I had to accomplish. I could not be sad or happy about teaching because I just felt like I was caught in a rip tide and waiting for my head to resurface. Diana, the director, asked us to meet with her (I got nervous and thought at this point it could only be bad news) but we sat down and she just asked us how we were doing. We got to vent a little about some of the things bothering us and we laughed hard about the difference between American and Honduran cultures. After she heard about my overloaded schedule with no time for lunch she said we could give the spelling to the first through third grade homeroom teachers. I felt so relieved! I went back to the classrooms and only received a little slack from the second grade teachers. The rest of the teachers seemed like they understood and felt as if they could take over spelling easily. I felt a little guilty but quickly reminded myself that I am not a paid or TRAINED teacher, and then I didn’t feel so bad. Diana also invited us to her house for the afternoon to work on lesson plans, swim in her pool, and use the internet! I was able to talk with Emmanuel and Xan, Keith, and my mama and papa all this afternoon. I had not been able to connect with any family so it felt so good to hear their voices and to tell them that I am doing well and that I am happy.
Diana also fed us a wonderful dinner of chicken, pork, and beef with chimichurri and champagne! Over dinner I spoke with Diana and Leo about the political situation in Honduras because today Argentina broke all relations with Honduras (I was told that this means all trading and everything). The political situation is very complicated and I don’t understand it at all, but its an absolute shame that because of these political power trips, Argentina and probably many other countries will be pulling out of Honduras. This doesn’t hurt the opposing political party but hurts the already very poor citizens of Honduras.
I hate to end on this note but I want to ask for your prayers and then I have to go to bed because I have to be up for my last day of training tomorrow at 6:30! I am starting to have the whole south of the border intestinal issue. I’m hoping it wont stick around long. I am also having nasty headaches everyday at about two every afternoon for the rest of the day. I am trying to drink lots of water, but I’m not sure if it’s the heat or dehydration, or stress, or what. I am thankful to be happy and feel comfortable in my new surroundings so this is not a setback but certainly something I could do without. Thank you for your prayers!
Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping;
that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I am really becoming a teacher on Monday with no training what-so-ever. Lets hope I am somewhat of a natural teacher... I have never thought of myself that way but here goes nothing.
I am teaching reading and phonics for first, second, and third grade.
The school is VERY unorganized and it seems that the Honduran teachers know about as much as I do. I need to go write my weekly lessons plans, I get nervous just thinking about all that I have to do.
I'm frustrated with the internet situation here and skype. Several times I have sort of connected but I have not been able to get through to anyone on skype and the internet rarely works. Its frustrating to try and then not be able to I get my hopes up and then they come crashing down... :-(
Please send me emails... That helps!
love from a hot sticky Honduran in training,
So today was my first day of teacher training. At eight o’clock today all of the teachers for Holy Family Bilingual school met in the chapel to start. Well, almost all the teachers, many walked in late which I think may just be common in Honduras. Diana the director of OLRM introduced herself and then quickly began to lecture about how we must be disciplined in our own lives in order to discipline the children. It sounds like an on going battle that she has been fighting. I’m sure that it bothers her being from the United States where if you aren’t five minutes early you are late. Anyway, it was quite a strange way to start off a school year… I don’t know many employers in the states that would talk to their employees the way she spoke to all of us teachers. I was just really glad I was on time.
We were first introduced by the principal of the school by our names and what we were teaching. Many of the teachers were introduced as teaching something they had no idea they were teaching. It turns out that the PE teacher is not going to be working for Holy Family and so all the homeroom teachers have to teach their own PE classes. They are not looking forward to it. I met the first, second, and third grade teachers. They all seem very easy to get a long with. The third grade teacher, Erica, has children and an ex-husband in Georgia so she spoke great English and wouldn’t speak Spanish with me. The second grade teacher, Odilia, does not speak great English and she grew up in Our Little Roses home. Its cool to see how much she has accomplished keeping in mind what she has come from. She was very sweet and was impressed with my Spanish. I realized though that when the women chat with each other informally it gets very difficult for me to understand them. I have to remind myself that it will take time to get used to people’s voices and things. When people are giving directions in Spanish I have no problem, I hope I can catch on to it so that I can stay up to date on all the gossip . The first grade teacher is also very sweet and always has a smile on her face. Her name is Claudia and she says the first grade is the best because it’s the last grade that the children still listen to the teacher. I hope that she is exaggerating a bit!
The school building is pretty big but it seems as if its very different here. The children have to bring their own materials to class. The only things in the classrooms are simple, old desks, a white board, and some books on a wood shelf. We went through all our books today to make sure they were not ripped or scribbled in. I still am not clear what I will be teaching or when. I know I have a lot of duties outside of the classroom as a supervisor for the entrance and exit of the kids and to watch them during their recreo or recess. I hope I will learn tomorrow what my schedule is like and what I’m supposed to be able to teach. I guess the name of this game is flexibility!
Our internet was supposed to be fixed today but no one ever came. I don’t know when I will actually get internet, so in order to not lose all my thoughts on these first couple of days I am just writing in word and I’ll upload it later. I’m being flexible .
I made friends with the cooks at the home today. Isabel, Lucy, and Mirian, are the three cooks who come everyday to cook for the girls. They have been saving meals for us in the oven so that after our training we can eat. I feel grateful for the people who are generally on the sidelines of the culture who seem to be looking out for me. I will continue to make an effort to show these women how much I appreciate their hard work. Cooking in ninety something weather with about 100% humidity can not be a fun job!
I spent some time coloring with some of the girls before dinner. We aren’t spending as much time at the home as I would like. It seems as if the other volunteers are not as invigorated as I am being there. I think it takes everyone time to get used to a new situation and I know from experience that it is exhausting learning a new language. I suppose maybe that is why they are over there less. I would go more often but as of now it seems like I should only walk over the OLR with someone else. Now don’t get me wrong I feel completely safe in the neighborhood its just that you never quite know who might decide to visit your neighborhood. As we walk through we are clearly the exotic foreigners, from children shouting Hi and buh bye as we walk by their houses, to old grandpas who as Americanes, and then of course, all the young men playing soccer who stare as we walk by with absolutely no shame.
I feel annoyed that we don’t have internet, that our washer doesn’t work, and that the hot water heater on my shower head makes the water scalding so I shower in cold water anyway. All of these things could potentially be a big problem but the truth is that I am realizing how simple life can be. I don’t need a Jacuzzi or a double headed shower. I don’t need to connect to the internet every single moment of down time I have. And, well I do need to wash my clothes, there are plenty of sinks in this apartment that will suffice. In a world so simple you are forced to know and understand yourself. This is an experience I am sure will bring me hard times and good times. I hope that the end result though is a greater appreciation for those things that we have in the United States and a better awareness of myself.
August 16, 2009
I am sitting in the hallway of our home looking out a window facing an absolutely breath taking mountain range. Its hot and humid, many dogs are barking, and a someone is driving around in a truck shouting political slogans with a mega phone. I can’t understand what he is saying but I wonder if it has to do with the political situation Honduras is in. I thought I heard Obama but it is very possible that this was my imagination. My apartment is small but cozy. I’m certainly not living in any rural undeveloped area, but it definitely is not the United States either. I’m learning all the ins and outs of how to make normal life work here. Like, turning on the water heater before I get in the shower, using a garbage for toilet paper instead of flushing it in a system that cant handle it, and making sure my curtains are closed during the day to keep out whatever heat I can from the sun. Life seems so much simpler already and I am enjoying that.
When I arrived at the airport Emily and I had no trouble getting in through customs. We were waiting for our luggage when someone came and put their arms around us. It was Jim the volunteer coordinator from OLR. It was so great to see a friendly face before we had even started worrying about how we were going to find our ride. He had gotten special permission to meet us in the baggage claim area rather than in the receiving area. When we got outside with all our bags the school principal Evelyn, and another volunteer named Brenda, met us to take us to OLR’s bus. We loaded up our things and off we went. I was so busy getting to know everyone in the bus that I don’t remember much about the drive. There are no tall buildings in San Pedro Sula, every once in a while you see a house like ours with two floors but otherwise everything is low. The houses feel somewhat like they do in the southern united states. They are designed for warm temperatures year round. Our hallway is basically open, there is some metal on the windows but no glass or screens. The sounds of the neighborhood are very near J. Many people have little patio/garage space outside of their homes. We have a little one that I am looking forward to sitting and relaxing while speaking to the neighbors who pass by.
Emily and Brenda seem like people I will easily get a long with. We all seem to have very different personalities but we are connecting well. Last night we all watched You’ve Got Mail and had my favorite Argentine beer, Quilmes. I have only had it a couple times at expensive Argentine restaraunts so it was great to buy it from the store. We had chips, salsa, and m & ms. I think we all needed the comfort of something similar to home and a chance to just relax. The community area of the apartment building is nice but very small. I think I will hang out in my room and the hallway more often then down in the common area. It seems sort of stuffy and dark.
So after we got in the bus they took us to the home for the girls. It is a beautiful square brick buidling with a courtyard in the middle. They have a few work rooms where they do painting and woodworking, a kitchen with four long tables, a livingroom, and then all of their bedrooms. The girls sleep in bunks and the rooms seem to be separated by age some how. When we got to the home we had lunch (lunch is the biggest meal of the day here, and dinner is a little smaller, more like supper) with the girls. We had a lunch of rice, some ground beef with a great zing flavor to it, and some red beans. I mixed all three of these together and it was so tasty. They also served plantains. It looks as if I’ll have some sort of plantain for every meal here… lol. I like them now, but it seems like quickly I could get sick of them. I’m going to try to not get sick of them lol. They cook them sometimes like patatoes with just butter and salt but they also make “maduros” and then they are covered in a brown sugar creamy heavenliness J.
I quickly started to talk to the girls. It is a little hard to break into their regular routine, but I feel like it will go quickly with me because I can speak Spanish with them. Sometimes the girls try to lie about little things to tease me. Now that I have caught on to that I can tease them right back. Some of the girls were having me guess how old they were so I guessed things like three, twenty-five, and ninety-nine. It made them all laugh and hopefully helped them connect with me, these girls were all between six and eight. I have enjoyed so much using Spanish to communicate with the girls. Last night I had a long conversation with a girl named Waldy about school. She is 13 and doesn’t want to go to school on Monday. She is in a public school and their summer vacation is very different from Holy Family school or any of the private schools. So she is in school now and was complaining about going back on Monday. I told her that its only Saturday night, she should enjoy Sunday before she starts worrying about going back to school. Saturday night I sat out in the courtyard, orignally by myself, and quickly the whole table was filled with girls. I sang songs that I learned from one of my Spanish classes and really hoped maybe they knew the same songs. They quickly joined in with me and I was so happy. When we had to leave several of the girls came over to give me a hug and I instantly felt like I belonged.
On a more serious note, three of the five volunteers that were at training in Miami, are not here and will not be coming. Emily and I are the only volunteers that actually made it here. Kyndall took a job a couple months before so we knew she wasn’t coming but when we got here we learned that the retired couple had decided not to come because they say they fel t it was too dangerous. I have not experienced anything dangerous but it sounds like other things didn’t work out for them and the political situation was a good excuse to not make it. Its too bad but there are other volunteers who signed up later who will be joining us at some point. So there are only three of us in the house right now, but I guess more are coming later.
Friday, August 14, 2009
When I start to imagine what it will be like to arrive I get so excited. People have asked how I am doing and I actually feel really good. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and have not been feeling any fear at all. Of course I am a little anxious but not scared! I have felt so loved and supported by my friends and family this summer. I have had numerous meaningful times and I know that with the support I have experienced before leaving I can do anything!
Its down to the wire now where I start to worry if I have forgotten to pack something important. I will try to curb those feelings reminding myself that if it is essential I can buy it there. Other than that I'm not too worried about anything else. I hope this is just a blessing and doesn't mean that I'm distracted from thinking about things I should be.
Thank you so much for going on this journey with me! Today starts a life changing year in my life... How exciting is that?