So with 66 days until I depart for St Kitts and Nevis (well actually St Lucia for a 5 day pre training and possibly Miami or another major US city for Staging) I have begun to prepare. But first, to clarify the steps of the Peace Corps Experience. Staging occurs in a major US city, whereby all the volunteers leaving for a particular program meet each other for the first time and take care of the necessary finalities, such as getting the last of the shots (boo!), handing in the last of the paper work, receiving our special government issued passport, etc. Peace Corps does not send out any information regarding Staging until a month before departure.
When I was leaving for Lesotho, I was Staging in Philadelphia, which was pretty ironic since I had just moved from Philly about a month prior to Staging on November 1st. It would have been weird/nice to be back in Philly for Staging and as the last place I saw before moving abroad for 2.5 years.
Anyways, for St. Kitts and Nevis there is a 5 day pre training in St. Lucia. I am not entirely sure if this is considered Staging as well, or if there is a Staging in addition to the 5 day pre training. After the pre training in St. Lucia I will go off to my site in St. Kitts and Nevis. I am assuming that the Eastern Caribbean programs have their own special Staging in addition to the regular Staging in the States since the EC consists of 6 different countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada and Carriacou, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Kitts and Nevis) under one title (EC). As you can see, everything about the Peace Corps is a mystery. They like to keep me on my toes at ALL times. Information always seems so last minute..but be that as it may.
So in preparation for departure I have begun to organize everything (including my life to some degree). Since I currently (but not for long (gave my resignation on my second day of work haha) more on this later) work at Target, I decided to take advantage of the discount I get and bought all my necessary items such as health care items and other random things like tape and glue, etc.
I decided that since I am only in the US for another two months and most of that is holidays, that I need all the time I can get to finish and wrap things up. It occurred to me that in order to see any of my friends, who all have real grown up 9-5 monday-friday jobs, I would need to see them on the weekends. And working in retail, the only days Target wants me is the weekends. It just wasnt fitting my life mantra of "I do what I want, when I want". Since I had to work the weekends, coupled with the fact that scheduling sucks and they never gave me two days off in a row, I couldnt go to Philly and visit friends. Not to mention the horrible night shifts and early sunday mornings. Ew. So it made the most sense to quit, so I had as much time and flexibility to do everything I needed and wanted to do before I leave. If I wasnt leaving until the end of March (Ukraine, Belize programs) then it would not have been an issue, because I still would have had 2 months after the holiday season to do everything. Additionally, with the holidays coming up, its difficult enough to plan to meet up and do anything with everyones conflicting busy schedules. I did not need to compound it by having unreliable and unstable work hours.
Back to preparations. Luckily I got most of what I need for starting a new life in a foreign country from my friends and family at my Farewell Party (THANK YOU SO MUCH!). I only had a few loose ends to tie up in that regard. Now, I need to some how figure out how I am going to fit everything in just two large duffel bags that weigh less than a 100lbs total. Yikes!
In addition to packing I still have a ton of paperwork. It really never ends. I still need to sort out all my Student Loans. Stupid Private Loans! This just takes alot of time (another reason for quitting Target so soon). I need to get them all in line, figure out whats what, and calling these places takes for EVER. I need to figure our a plan of communication; getting an unlocked GSM phone, buying one down there, canceling my current plan, etc.
Theres so many things to do, I cant even think of them all now. Its a bit overwhelming.