Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Yesterday I received an e-mail telling me all about staging. What is "staging," you may ask.... Well staging is what happens before we get on the plane destined for Rwanda. This takes place in Philadelphia, so all of the volunteers who are leaving in this wave (that would be 70 heading to Rwanda this time... big group!) meet and get a few last minute things done. I'm looking forward to this, it'll be one of my last US experiences for the next 27 months (provided all goes well). I'm really excited and I'm ready to go! But this isn't happening for another 4 weeks. Until then, I have to be content with hanging out state-side. Shouldn't be too much of a problem, honestly. At the end of this week I'm heading North to NC and Va to visit some friends and family. Upon returning to Fl, I'll be going to Tallahassee to spend some final beautiful moments there with the people I love. Then it's back to Gainesville. Pack. Re-pack (because I'm sure these size/ weight restrictions are going to take some maneuvering). Get a few quality family dinners in. And leave!... On october 19th. I've purchased/ gathered everything I think I'll need to take with me. Now I'm just waiting on a few packages to get here. Fedex is a complete waste of time and money. ALWAYS use UPS or the USPS. That being said, if you'd like to send me anything while I'm in Rwanda (an address is forthcoming) you should certainly use the USPS. Apparently the rates are better than UPS. I've received advice regarding mail: number the pages of your letters/ if sending a package put a content list inside just in case, putting jesus friendly quotes and stickers on the outside of packages apparently helps, be vague with what you put in the customs form. All the mail I am to receive is destined for a developing foreign country. The culture and customs are different there, and mail takes it tie arriving. I'll be surprised if I don't end up with at least one crazy story involving the postal service in Rwanda. Currently, in good ol' Gainesville Fl, I'm awaiting 3 packages. Package 1 was shipped first, via Fedex, and will probably arrive last. Packages 2 should be here today and package 3 was just shipped yesterday but will probably STILL beat package 1. I'm not frustrated by this at all.... right? I guess I've grown accustomed to the e-mail lifestyle where you can get what you need with little to no delay. In a way, waiting for this post is an exercise in getting used to a slower pace of life. Learning how to wait. After all, when you have to wait for something you start to anticipate it's arrival, so when it does arrive, it's that much more exciting. Time to scrounge up some breakfast. (Another thing I'm enjoying while it lasts- a fully stocked pantry and refrigerator capabilities)


  1. you don't know me..but..I'll see you in Philly homie!!

  2. Same as Mary...I'll be in your training group. So far we have found only a handfull who have blogs. Here's to seeing you in staging.

  3. Im a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia. Im about to finish my service here and we wanna do some traveling. We plan to be in Rwanda some time after mid January. Were wondering if you could answer a few questions for us.

    We dont have many leads.

    What are the best things to do in Rwanda?

    How much are Visas? Is there any special process we need to know about when buying them?

    Generally how much do food and travel cost?

    Can you free hike, or is that too dangerous? If not what are the general forms of travel, combi, bus, trains, something else?

    Where are the best places to stay?

    What else should we know?

    How many volunteers are there?

    We would appreciate any help you could give us. Please write me back at if you have time.


  4. Hi Ally, welcome! I'm a PCV in Rwanda now. Please let me know if you have any questions, and if you're on Facebook, check out the group there -- "Peace Corps Rwanda - Education Invitees 2010"

    Happy preparing! =)
    Julie Ann