So all of last night and today I've been on such an adrenaline rush and high. I'm super excited at the moment, but I'm guessing this will start waring down soon and I'll realize what I've signed myself up for and freak out ;) I think I'm a very strong person-mentally, physically, emotionally- and am fully capable of living in the conditions that I will be in and putting myself at risk for certain things. I have been taking, and still am, a Women Against Rape self defense class- where we are put in real attack situations, and are taught to be able to defend ourselves, seriously injure the attacker, and get away from many different situations safely. I have learned and am continuing to learn SO much, and I notice that I'm now practicing the safety tips they give us in my every day life; whether it's always getting to my car and locked inside quickly, scanning people, my surroundings, and cars more to make mental notes, letting friends know when I'm going somewhere like a on run by myself, and when I'm expected to be back to my phone, not running at night or taking certain alienated trails anymore, etc. I'm so thankful that I'm taking this class, and I think it should be taught to every woman and girl. I am confident that I will be able to defend myself and be safe. I'm concerned about being light skinned, light eyed, and light haired in a village that might not be used to that. I acknowledge that I could be a target for many different things. I realize the risks that I am taking. But I believe in myself. And I believe that what I'll be doing and experiencing will far outweigh those risks, and this will the be experience of a life time.
8 weeks from now. 8 weeks and two days to be precise. And I'll be gone for 27 months. Literally falling off the face of the planet, but I hope not!! I will try to get in touch and keep everyone updated throughout. But I would LOVE if people wrote me letters!!!! It will take 4-6 weeks to get to a main hub, and I'll probably be able to go in to the capital city (50km from my village, 30km bike ride and then I'll have to hitchhike from a road on a motorcycle or the back of a livestock pick-up truck for the last 20km) at least once a month. They said it could take 1-2 days to make it in to Lusaka, which is where I will be able to pick up mail and have very limited access to e-mail. I hope I will be able to update my blog.
What I think would be awesome and really help me with homesickness, is if, when I do make these treks in to collect mail and get online, I came and was to pick up a TON of letters!!! I want people to write to me about life back home, draw me pictures, whatever. Just no packages, because that is extremely expensive and they are often opened and stolen. I have a feeling I'll have a lot of down time in my 'hut', and will love having people to write back to when I have no other means of communication for 2+ years. I will give an updated address later, after I'm placed in my final site. The first three (3) months while I'm there and in training, this is my address:
Caitlin M. Ambrosia/PCT
P.O. Box 50707
I leave on July 17 for Zambia!!!