I've caved and opened a blog.... who knows how often I'll be able to update it or if I'll even be able to keep it going. Either way it's worth a shot right?
So I leave tomorrow for staging in DC. I have a lot of mixed emotions about going. I'm beyond excited, but there's always that part of me that apprehensive. I'm nervous, even though I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. I'm still nervous. And of course I've put everything off to the last minute. So I'll be frantic trying to get everything around to leave. My packing is done, but I still need a few last minute things for my carry-ons.
Also as the day grows closer to leaving. I've began to reflect on everything that has happened in the last year or so. To think a little less than a year ago I wasn't sure where I was going. I was freaking out because it was so close to graduation and I had no idea if I was leaving. Then I get that phone call that my invitation is in the mail. Gosh talk about nervous butterflies. I opened the baby up and was disappointed. All along I wanted French speaking West Africa. And what did I end up with?! English speaking Southern Africa. Come on! I did finally decide that I would accept my invite to Zambia because I loved the program and just hoped I would love Zambia too.
Then I get to Zambia and fall in love with the country and the people. And the morning after the first night that I slept with a couple spiders in my hut, I was being sent home. Seriously! After I prove to myself I can live there fore 27 months, they want to send me home! I went from an ultimate high to a super low. Coming home was so hard. Adjusting to life in Zambia and then being told that I could not be there, was heartbreaking. And then coming home and dealing with everything here was not easy either.
Although I believe everything happens for a reason. (I think there were definite reasons for me to be home at this time, it was still really hard to take.) I also think that I needed this time to really see if Peace Corps was what I wanted. Even though all the trouble and hassle it was to get medically cleared again and get my invitation. There was always something telling me I had to prevail. There was nothing else I could do that would make me happy.
I am grateful to have some of the best family and friends in the world. Definitely would not have made it through everything without them. But as I get ready to leave now, it just feels right. I'm really ready this time to leave. I've taken care of things here, I've said things that have needed to be said and done things that needed to be done. Now its my turn to go to Zambia and finish my work there.
So here I go... on to the next chapter of my life. I'm ready and cannot wait to meet everyone tomorrow. And cannot wait to step off that plane in Zambia. But for everyone back here in the USA, please write me!!! Here's my address:
Bonnie Katalenich, PCT
I love you all and cannot wait for some letters! Thanks for everything you all have done for me and all the support that will be coming!