Most of my life now is focused on Macedonia. However, in all of my thinking, I sometimes just pause, shake my head, and think, "What am I doing? Who does this? I mean really, who just packs up and leaves the country for 2 years?" I think most of that comes from the stress of trying to figure out what all I have to do in such a short amount of time and I know it will be great, but really, who does this! And then, I grab my computer, watch this video, and all of my fears/questioning disappears!
I finished work on Wednesday. It was definitely a bittersweet moment (I feel like that will be the theme of the next 6 weeks). It is great to be done and have some time to get everything in order before I leave, but it is also very sad. I have been at the St. Peter Recreation Department for almost 6 years. That may not seem like a long time to some, but for someone my age, thats a long time to be at one job. I have definitely done a lot of growing up there over the years. And I know I owe a lot to my coworkers there. I was helping up at football camp and when I came back down, the girls had decorated the office in streamers and had a sign up saying "Good Luck Sara" in Macedonian. It was awesome. At the end of the day Jane and Heidi brought over a card that everyone had signed. Then Annika, Emily, Liz, and I went out to Patties for happy hour and had quite an eventful time. Great night!
Now the realization of how much I have to do in only 6 weeks has hit. Its kind of hard to know where to even start.
- 52 days until I start the next 27 months of my life.
I have been spending lots of my free time figuring out what to buy/pack. There are lots of discounts available to Peace Corps Volunteers, and while there are many great ones, I have noticed sometimes the company I am looking to buy something at, isn't on the list. I have learned, it doesn't hurt to ask. SmartWool said no, unless I wanted to order like 100 pairs of their socks. However, Columbia was super generous and despite not having a deal for Peace Corps Volunteers, they offered me a one-time purchase discount at their friends/family store, which saved me over $200. Plus, Columbia has a lot of really amazing products- I've always been a fan! Other amazing companies, Teva, Eagle Creek, and Keen. And although the don't offer a discount for PCV, the staff at REI are super helpful! (Ok, enough product placement for one post!)
Since work is starting to wind down a little (side note: why can't little boys keep their hands to themselves?), I am able to start focusing more on Peace Corps and what I need to do before I leave. I am working hard on trying to figure out my insurance estimates for my travler's insurance and of course all of the paperwork that came with my invitation (never really thought at 24 I would be deciding what percentage of life insurance my dad, mom, and sister are to each receive if I die).
I also need to get dental clearance again. I still have it, however, it expires after 1 year. I gained dental clearance on September 2nd. I leave September 9th. Wah wah. I miss having clearance by one week. At least I got lucky. I called the dentist today at like 10:20 and they just had a cancellation and could get me in at 11:00 today. Plus, I actually never saw the dentist- the hygienist did all the work and the dentist just reviewed her work, so it was pretty quick and painless. The only thing I need is for the dental liaison to call me back in regards to whether I need new Panorex x-rays, since the hygienist said they are good for 5 years. She hoped Peace Corps wouldn't require them because she wanted to save me the $120 (she was so focused on saving me money that they didn't charge me for an exam, just the cost of the bitewing x-rays).
I also need to start practicing my Macedonian. On the MAK-16 Facebook site there is mixed reviews from current PCVs about whether you should start learning the language before you leave. Some say, do it now while you are excited- you won't be by your 2nd week of PST. Others say, don't bother now, spend time with friends and family as you will spend lots of time on language during PST and its easier when you have a set way of doing it instead of trying to figure it out on your own. At this point, I know how to say "hello", "I", "one", "good morning", "good afternoon", and "good night". That certainly will take me far, right?!