The Purge

I’ve started packing!

I have three piles – what I’m bringing, what I want to keep beyond my service, and the ???? pile to give away or trash. It is truly amazing how much stuff I have accumulated in only 3ish years since I’ve moved back in with my parents.

Since November I’ve been buying things here and there that I knew I’d need for Ethiopia (a fantastic backpack – Osprey Nova 33 from REI – (10/10 would recommend), packable solar lanterns, a super lightweight suitcase (I caught a great deal on that one, thank you Marshalls!)…and so many ebooks. I’ve been tossing everything into a bag in the corner of my room, and forgetting about it, so the time has now come to pull it all out and deal with it.

I guess I enjoy packing? If you ask my sister or friends, they’d probably say I obsess over packing. That is probably true, but what it really is, is that I have to spend a lot of time packing to make sure I don’t over pack. (I have a latent tendency to stop thinking critically and just throw anything into my suitcase that I might need in a panic…it’s terrible. It’s an unfortunate habit I picked up from my mom.)

In 2005 we went to visit our family in Hawaii for three weeks. Judging from the luggage she packed, you would have thought we were moving there in an incredibly inefficient manner. It was embarassingly awful. We had a full medical kit – cough syrup, Advil, medical tape, several different kinds of bandaids and gauze…..No one in our family was sick at the time. I think we had enough clothes for a month, all of us. And there was a washer and dryer in the house where we stayed.


Another time we went camping for two-ish nights? Maybe three? I think we had the entire contents of our kitchen with us. She certainly brought a full pot and pan set, and many types of lunchmeat. (I’m definitely not complaining about the food – thats a habit I’ve picked up and I’m ok with. I always have a granola bar on me and it’s saved me more times than I can count. I’ll find myself lost in my to-do list for the 5th time in 20mins, and realize it’s 2:30pm and I forgot to eat breakfast or lunch.)

Anyway, I spread everything that is definitely going with me to Ethiopia on the living room floor and became immediately overwhelmed. Luciano made himself right at home in the middle of everything while I stared at the mess and tried not to panic.

And then I went on a week long camping trip and ignored it all for a week.

(Just kidding. Actually, I went on the camping trip and thought about it all week.)

So now I’m home again. Facing the pile with a clearer head thanks to being in nature. I have always felt at home in the woods, and this past week was no exception. I’m so grateful to the KWS class of 2017 for welcoming me along on their trip. If any of you are reading this – you are amazing, and I wish you the knowledge that following your heart is always worth it, you are always stronger than you think, and for major decisions, your voice should always be the loudest voice in your head.

T minus 21 days….here it comes!


A Few Random Thoughts


While I never actually doubted that I’d be cleared, it was still an enormous relief to receive that email.

Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative has lost it’s branding, however from all I’ve been able to gather it is just an empty, petty PR move by the current administration to erase the Obama legacy. Sorry dude, it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. The content, training and emphasis on gender equity in the education sector of the Peace Corps will stay.

I spent the last week with the 6th grade of the Kimberton Waldorf School helping to chaperone their trip to Kroka – an amazing community where “wilderness meets consciousness” in Marlowe, NH. It was a gift of an experience for many reasons. The simplest being that I was able to spend a week with little to no running water and no electricity. I was able to step into a completely new environment and take that emotional roller coaster of feeling out a new life for a week – and then come home and hug my dog.