Monday, September 1, 2008

4 days, 22 hours

Completed:

-Move out of my studio

-Take down show

-Leave job

-Initial packing

-Say goodbye to most friends, family and co-workers

To do:

-Organize/store stuff I'm leaving behind

-Finish packing

-Final goodbyes to friends and family I have yet to do so

-Paperwork for loans and insurance, etc.

-Tie up all other loose ends

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I feel fairly good about my packing. I am under the 80lbs weight limit by over 10lbs, and I only have a few more things to pack. I tried carrying it all at once to see how it would feel. I think I can do it, just not over a great distance. I should be able to hobble around an airport.

Packing has been an adventure in figuring out exactly what to bring-- what will be used, and how to take up the least amount of space with important items.

My understanding from reading material the Peace Corps has passed out and listening to advice from past Morocco PCVs is that in many places in Morocco I will need to be covered in a more conservative way than in the US. This means I need to favor packing shirts with sleeves between 3/4-full length, no low-cut collars (not a big problem for me), and the bottom falling loosely around mid-thigh. That last stipulation caught me, most of my shirts fall right at my hips or slightly higher. It is also my understanding that my pants and skirts (sometimes preferably skirts) need to be both loose and long. I've managed to find shirts, skirts, and pants that will hopefully work by raiding a few closets, finding some bargains at the store, and by a generous gift to help boost my new wardrobe.

The other clothing issue is that I won't know where my final site will be until I am already in Morocco. With Morocco's diverse landscape-- dessert, Mediterranean, mountainous--I could be in extremes from sweltering hot to frigid. I was concerned about stuffing my winter coat, long underwear, and sweaters in my baggage, but I was saved by those vacuum-seal space-saver bags. So I am prepared for most types of weather. Most importantly, I've packed a lot of layers I can take on off during the day.

One issue I'm a little unsure about is the use of contacts. I normally wear contacts, but I know the PC strongly discourages you from using them in-country. it sounds like this is large part due to the poor-availability of sterile contact solution, and risk of eye-infection. However, randomly reading Morocco-PCV blogs has revealed that some do take contacts with them (with a lot of solution). Is it worth the trouble of trying to take all the contact solution, etc? Or is the risk pretty bad for eye infection regardless? I will have two pairs of glasses with me, as requested, and I may just bring my contacts for special occasions with a bottle or two of solution. If any Morocco PCVs out there have any experience on this, I'd be interested to know!

It appears that there won't be too many posts from me now until I'm actually on this adventure. Bear with me in the coming weeks as I try to figure out internet access-- and sanity. I'm excited that all of this is so close to becoming reality. I still can't believe it!

4 comments:

Janis said...

Good luck with your trip!

Express Pass said...

Hi. I am in SBD too. It will be nice to finally start to meet people her in a few short days. I hope your last few days a full of joy.

Dena

S.M. Bittler said...

Best wishes to you, and safe travels! :D

amberdulen said...

I am so ridiculously excited for you. I can't wait to hear how it goes!