One Journey Ends, Another Begins

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I am back at my folks' home in Philadelphia, which is a five day pitstop to hang out with my family, say goodbye to friends, and PACK for my departure on March 9th! First, I fly into Miami for a one day orientation and the following day I am off to Kingston. During the first three weeks of training, I will be shuffled around to different parts of Jamaica with the other new volunteers (around 50?) for trainings on safety, culture, and language (Patwa!).  Then, all of us in the environmental sector (around 14?) will branch out to do more focused technical training for six weeks. It is hard to believe I am soon boarding a plane to Jamaica after all of this time thinking, talking, and reading about it!

I have always been a last minute packer---so when I planned the start and end dates of the bicycle tour, I came back so I would have a handful of days to run around and pack two years of my life into two pieces of luggage (thanks, Mom, for running around with me!). I've been living in Vermont for the past two years, so I am short of practical clothes for two years in Jamaica. With the power of thrift stores, I have been building my new wardrobe while not knowing exactly where I will be placed on the island or how much my position will be office work versus getting my hands dirty. My permanent job placement will be revealed to me in mid-May, because Peace Corps staff likes to get to know volunteers during training to help them decide the best fit for each individual person. Therefore I have to pack a balance of fancy shoes and work boots, button down shirts and beat up jeans, and simply hope I am equipped for my assignment. No matter where I end up on the island, I am confident that I will love it (or learn to love it)! Did I mention all of this has to fit into two pieces of luggage that together do not exceed 80lbs?

BUT----let me back up! Even though I am in preparation mode for Peace Corps, I have a ton of pictures to share from the conclusion of the bicycle trip! I wish I had more time to write about all of these pictures (I tried to write a snippet for each one), but hopefully they tell a story without my rambles. I also tried to keep them in order...the first batch are older pictures from my camera as I didn't have the cord to upload them during the trip.

The bicycle trip was nothing short of magical. I know I will always look back on those days of cycling with joy. There are so many lovely people in this world and somehow a lot of them live up and down the coast of Oregon and California. In Los Angeles, I got to spend time with my best friend, Sara, who I haven't seen in two years. As you could imagine, there was much laughter to be had about old adventures, and new adventures as well. If you need a snazzy costume made, go to Sara!

I hope you enjoy the pictures!

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I used way too many exclamation points. I would like to post about Joshua Tree National Park, but I am afraid this already has an overwhelming amount of photographs. For now, it is back to packing....