Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Goodbye America

We arrived safely in Chicago for staging a day early so we could spend the day with our friends Matt and Christie who were nice enough to show us around the city.  Chicago seems like a great place – maybe a bit cold in January though. It had me ready for the 80 degree weather in the Gambia!

Our last few weeks in Texas were filled with packing, eating, shopping, and saying goodbye to family and friends. We had such a great time those few weeks and we will miss everyone dearly.  Thanks to those of you who gave us your support, came out to see us off, and gave us departure gifts.  We really appreciate it and it makes us feel very blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. We will miss ya’ll and cannot wait for those that are planning to come visit!

We know our decision isn't easy on everyone, but we are so thankful for your love and support.

Our first day at staging went well. We arrived at our fancy Double Tree hotel on the ‘Magnificent Mile’ around noon.  Our day consisted of filling out more paperwork, doing some ice breaker activities, and talking about logistics and what to expect in training and service.  There are about 30 volunteers in our class split equally between health/community volunteers and environmental volunteers.  The average ages seem to be in the mid-twenties, but there are two women that look to be in their sixties. One of the two ladies just finished a service in Samoa!
We are the only married couple in our group and also the only people from Texas! Everyone is very nice and interesting; we all went out for pizza last night after orientation.  This morning we checked out of our hotel at 8 and took a bus to the clinic for yellow fever vaccinations.  After our vaccinations we were driven to the airport and our flight leaves at 5 pm! We should arrive in the Gambia on January 6.  Upon arrival, we will be met by the Peace Corps staff and bussed to an Eco-Lodge where we will be staying for the week together.  We should have internet in the lodge, but after that we will be separated into small groups of 4-5 and sent to our training villages where we will live with a host family and start our language and cultural training.  Ben and I will be living with the same family in the same village. We are leaving in one hour and are very excited; our next post will be from The Gambia!


  1. safe travels! look forward to your next post from the other side of the world!

  2. Glad you guys got off ok! We miss you already!
    Can't wait for your next blog!