"My soul is elsewhere, I'm sure of that. And I intend to end up there." -- Rumi

Monday, April 18, 2011

Planning for the Unknown

So last Friday I recieved a very exciting email from my recruiting company... we teachers who are going to be there over the summer will be placed in summer camps, and work there for ~3 months until we meet our host family in September and go on to business as usual teaching in the schools.  According to the email -- "They are located in the resort areas throughout the country: on the Black Sea coast, in the mountains, and in the national parks... Volunteers will educate in a more casual atmosphere with games, sports activities, music, drama, and have a really good chance to show the initiative and let their creativity shine.  Volunteers will be teaching only part time and spend the rest of their time on leisure and travel."

Damn if that doesn't sound fantastic.

Of course, this means I went even more overboard during my Mal-Mart Buying Extravaganza this past Sunday.  As just a random sample of highights, the trip included: a snakebite kit, 2 large and 2 travel-size bug repellants (98% DEET, baby), black and nude pantyhose, an entire gamut of full-size toiletries, crayons, chalk, four different kinds of stomach medicine, condoms, a miniature high-powered LED flashlight, spiral notebooks, batteries, and a 25-foot ethernet cable.

And this was the final, fill-in-the-gaps trip.  The guest room is already overflowing.  North Face, L.L. Bean, Magellan's, Jockey, Clark's Shoes, and the Earplug Superstore.  Soon, it will be time to see exactly how much of this I can fit in two suitcases, a backpack, and a laptop messenger bag.  I am generally a very minimalist packer, but the combination of the long duration and the unknown locations have turned me into a person who buys a dozen shopping bags worth of economy-stimulating goods at Wal-Mart.

I find it funny that when I first started planning for this adventure, I called it "preparing for a life without things."  For the past weeks my life has been consumed with things.  Trying to have a little something on board for every hiccup or problem or homesickness jag, and that is just impossible.

Today is my third-to-last day of gainful employment.  I cannot wait for Wednesday at 6:00.  Turning in my blackberry (wiped, natch) is going to feel SO amazing.  Today went by pretty quickly; I walked down to the Natural History Museum during lunch today, in case I don't have the chance to make a proper Smithsonian visit before I leave.

It's sad that right now the majority of my thoughts and emotions are tied up on getting the hell out of my place of business and considerably less so on the far more important future.  The idea of surviving the next two days gives me far worse butterflies than the idea of hugging my parents goodbye and steeling myself to suffer through ~12 hours of Coach.  (Ugh.) Old life well and truly left behind, new life beginning and not the foggiest clue what that will mean.

I'm expecting that focus to shift after Wednesday, however.


  1. It DOES sound fantastic! I love your new blog and look forward to reading, you have always been an amazing writer. Congrats on reaching the end of your time at your job. Woohoo! What a relief. Wish I was home so we could celebrate at the Round Robin Bar this Wed. I love you my sakartvelo big sister!

  2. Are you allowed to travel with a chemical like bug spray?

    Can't wait to see you on Saturday!