Life in the South Pacific

Stop in and read all about my Peace Corps journey in Samoa! Don't forget to send me letters and emails!! Packages are always welcome too! :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ready for some warm weather

So this weather in NJ has been very moody lately. Cloudy and windy one minute and sunny and serene the next. It's been extremely temperamental and the nites here are cold! I'm still wearing sweatshirts to bed and waking up all bundled up underneath the covers. I can't wait for the warm weather! Though, I've also never fared well under extremely hot and humid conditions. Generally I just become a vegetable and can't move, but it's all about adjustment, isn't it?

Well guys and gals, it's getting close. 10 more days! The packing situation is stressful. I'm taking my time. I'm just one of those extremely cluttered people and trying to fit 2 years of my 24 in two suitcases is tough! Having to pack up my entire room as well is not very enjoyable either. But somehow it'll all get done!

So this past weekend was a blast. Got to see the Drew Crew and we had some dinner and took in a comedy club in NYC. Then we wandered over to a bar where I definitely did not need an irish car bomb, tequila shot, sangria and rum & coke. And that was after 2 extremely strong captain and cokes! Such an eclectic mix but it was a lot of fun seeing everyone after 2 years. Needless to say I had a minor hangover the next morning when I went to the Peace Corps reception in NYC. After the initial awkwardness that is generally present at any gathering, I met some great people. Everyone was so friendly. As the South Pacific group makes up only 5% of volunteers (a little tid-bit I picked up), there were no RPCV's, but I did meet 2 girls who are also being sent to the South Pacific (we get to be island girls Jess (Vanuatu) and Missy (Micronesia), if you ever drop in and read this!) and it was great to have some people to relate to.

After a nap, I made it out to Severine's bday bash with Ayesha, Neda and Antonietta at Eurolounge. They played some funky music, but as always, I had an awesome time with my Motown girls. Sorry I was a bit tired though Antonietta!

And last nite was Neda's 24th. Adam, Ayesha and I took her out to dinner in Morristown to the French/Thai restaurant. Mmm...I love both cuisines! In honor of Neda's birthday, the restaurant turned off the lights and played this tribal type of music and started clapping and put this funny hat on her. I wish I had brought my camera! Then we decided to take a ride down memory lane and stopped by MHS to see the national honor society induction. We got there at the very end, but we ran into some old teachers from elementary school and high school. It really was good to see them and have them remember us...or our faces at least! Then off to the Funky Monkey for a drink and then back home.

So this is my last full weekend..Memorial Day weekend! And because we are terrible at planning things there is nothing definite yet. It'll work out though and we'll find something...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Another chapter closed

So yesterday was my last day of work...woohoo!! No more days at more dealing with crazy, pain in the butt reps or doctors who think they are god's gift to this world. Actually, most of them weren't too bad...but no more of any of it! I will miss the people I work with though...they have been great despite my many ups and downs with some. The Yankees game they took me to the other nite was awesome! After being down 9-0, the Yankees somehow won it 14-13! And we left when the game was tied 12-12...the only downfall of going with the company's president was that he had to leave early to catch a 7am flight. C'est la vie. This chapter of my life is officially closed!

And now the stress of packing begins. I'm already starting to feel super overwhelmed and I haven't even started!! Packing is so frustrating! But at least I'll have a couple weeks to take my time and figure out what I really need. So much to do before I leave. I can't believe it came about so soon. I'm leaving all my creature comforts and all that I have loved and known behind for 2 years. I'm ready. And I've prepared myself mentally for the worst...I'm trying not to go in with too many expectations, but it's hard when you don't know anything except for what you picture in your mind.

It's going to be so hard to say good-bye to everyone! Knowing that these are the last few times I will see many people for 2 years and maybe even more, cuz who knows where I'll end up afterwards...and talk to them even! It's going to be strange having a whole new life, a whole new family...and not having anyone here know about any of them. They'll know OF them and hear of them, but will never meet face to face.

Well it's been a great ride at MMEG and I'm wistful to be leaving. But nothing sums up what I'm feeling better than this quote: "What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land." ~ Motorcycle Diaries

And now it's time to celebrate!!

Till next time...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Getting closer...

I've booked my flight to LA!!! HOLY MOLY, it's all really happening!! I leave June 4th for LA at 5:40 pm. I can't wait to meet everyone I'll be spending the next 2 years with.

In other news, I got an email from my Associate Peace Corps Director today and she seems like an awesome person. And guess where she went right after the Peace Corps...of all cities?! BARCELONA! Coincidence? Maybe! But maybe she'll be able to hook a sista up! hehe. that was my ghettoness for the day.

That's all in Peace Corps news.

I've been getting congratulations from everyone at work and I'm glad that they are offering additional support because it definitely helps. Sometimes I find myself thinking about what I'm doing and what I will be doing and I start to panic. Am I really going to be able to help these people? What the hell can I really do to help? But then, I know that I can bring something to the table and if anything, my passion and just my want of doing something good will give me some guidance.

But all this doesn't help the tears that have been forming lately for no good reason at all. I've always been a pretty sensitive person who unleashes the floodgate of tears when there is any sappiness or sadness on tv or in the movies. But I've never been one to just start crying for no apparent reason. Like the other day I was driving and tears just started forming and then gushing out and I couldn't stop and it took me awhile to control myself. I guess everything is just hitting. Although it will take a lot of strength and mental toughness to leave everyone and everything I have known back home, I'm still excited for all these possibilities and opportunites that are waiting for me. A whole new life is waiting!

Friday, May 05, 2006

On My Way!

So yesterday was a big day. I got dentally cleared...yippee! So now I can officially go. And I also gave my 2 weeks. woohoo!! 2 more weeks and I am done at MediMedia for good! The news was taken well although my manager still doesn't know because I didn't want to stress him out too much before he went to a meeting with new clients. So it's on the DL until monday. but it felt good as hell to get that over with!

And I got to talk to my french boy! and i will spare you all the details because it is too much to write and a little corny as well. And yes, I had to mention him AGAIN.

That earthquake in Tonga was apparently pretty intense that the volunteers in Samoa felt it at 4 am...though it didn't last very long. pretty crazy! but nobody was injured and all are okay.

So my biggest agenda for the next month is to start shopping for things that I need. I don't even know what I need. It's overwhelming to think about, but I think once I compose a list and actually bring it with me to the store, I'll be able to focus. And it hopefully won't even take too much time, since i'm such a great packer and all :P hahahaha.

so who's down for camping memorial day weekend??? :)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

One Month till Samoa!

My first blog! How exciting! So the main reason I am starting this is so that I can keep you posted on my life down in Samoa and also to entertain you and pass the time while you are at work. I'll try and post as much as I can and knowing me, I'll be running to the Internet cafe every chance I get.

As I write, I'm still waiting to be dentally cleared. Yes, leave it to me to leave getting my wisdom tooth out at the last minute. Hopefully I'll be cleared soon and then I'll get my staging packet and book my ticket to LA!!

So, seeing that I am not in Samoa just yet and just a month and a day from leaving, I thought I'd still start my writings now. This next month is going to fly by I'm sure and the past month has already been more emotional than I thought it'd be. Some days I am so excited and cannot wait to get out of here and start my new life! Other days, I start to panic and ask myself what the hell I am doing? But this is something that I know that I want to do. I've been in this application process for over a year now and the time has finally come! It's time to move on and to see all that's out there. Our trip to Spain really cemented my decision and left no doubts about this being something I really want to do. I can REALLY be an island girl now! Traveling really opens your eyes to what is out there. To other people and how they live and ENJOY life. Here in the U.S, what's the point of working so much if we can't enjoy it?! We spend too much time isolated in cubicles and offices and not enough time with friends and family. But you know, I say all this and when I come back I probably won't be able to wait to work a 9-5 after having no structure for 2 years. We shall see.

Okay, sorry for my shpiel. Back to business. This will probably be one of the hardest things I will ever do. I mean, moving away from friends and family to a not only completely different country but also under-developed, for two years is pretty crazy. And while I have everything idealized in my head about what it's going to be like, it probably won't be anything like what I picture it to be and such a huge adjustment. But that is one thing I generally do well, adjust. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this time won't be any different.

I've been reading blogs of other volunteers in Samoa and I have to admit that it does make me nervous living in a village. But this is what I signed up for. I'll be helping others and that's what is most important.

And now, on to my friends and family. Thank you all for your support and keeping my spirits up when they've been down. Since I've come back from Spain, my moods and emotions have been all over the place just brought on by a culmination of things. I must say that meeting a guy that I actually really liked was one of the worst things that could have happened (and you know I just HAD to mention my french guy) and that I shouldn't have let him waver my decision to go, but I did. Because when it comes down to it, I'm a hopeless romantic =P Okay, I got sidetracked once again. I will miss you all so terribly much!!!! You all have helped me to shape who I am today. You are my backbone and without all of you, I wouldn't be here at this moment. This past weekend made me realize just how much I will miss EVERYONE! Spending the weekend with some of my bffs (hahahaha, i love the word!) in the world, I will miss it. Marcella, Roma, Jess, Antonietta, Ayesha, Nedz, Leah, and Marissa -- THANK YOU AGAIN!! And Jen, I wish so much you could've been here, but I'm so glad that you are having the time of your life in Spain. After all, this is what life is all about! I wish that we could all do things like that more often!! It's always a blast when we get together and nothing will ever change that. Two years will probably bring many changes to all of us and I just hope that everyone is happy with whatever life brings. Okay, let me stop before any tears start to build up.

We still have a month to party it up!!!

Let's take a moment to reflect on this past weekend:

Party at Roma's!

Group shot in Roma's lobby--Neda, Roma, Jess, Marcella, me and Antonietta

At the Joshua Tree

Before the thrashing began...

Hahaha...Antonietta and Marissa

Sorry Romes...half your face got cut off!

ohh yea, Leah!