Monday, August 30, 2010

Departure Day is Here

It is the day of my departure. I’m sitting here surrounded by nature’s beauty reflecting on the week and imagining the adventures of the year to come. All week I have heard YAV alumni reflect on their experience and share advice as I along with 61 other YAVs were prepared for our year. This week, much like last week, was an emotional rollercoaster. I went through many highs talking about the adventures to be had and the relationships to be formed as well as many lows imagining the realities of culture shock and the loneliness I may experience. I dove into conversations with YAVs going to both national and international sites. It was great to meet other people who will share in similar periods of joys and struggles throughout their year.

The most noteworthy event of the week was preaching at a church on Sunday with Jim and Madison (the two other India volunteers.) We spent Sunday morning at a local Presbyterian church, sharing our stories with their congregation. The pastor of the church was actually a former YAV and was among the first to serve in India. Our time spent together was good for everyone- good for Jim, Madison and I and good for Ben as we allowed him to articulate his experience and we gained more insight on what to expect. It was also a great bonding experience! I know Madison, Jim and I will be a great support system for each other. Both Madison and Jim have great personalities and will be fun travel companions as well as people I feel comfortable going to in times of need.

Our plane departs tonight at 9:30. We will be in air for 15 hours and 50 minutes before landing in Mumbai. From Mumbai we will switch airports and then fly to Cochin where our site coordinator will meet us. Hopefully this goes smoothly as we only have 2.5 hours to get through customs and travel to the domestic airport across town. Our site coordinator sent us a sweet email last night expressing his excitement for our arrival! I am ready to get there and get this adventure rolling.



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Forecast: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

As I am trying to have a productive day with high hopes of crossing off lots of things on all 9 of my lists of to-dos, I noticed a peace that came over me. I have lots to do as I am trying to pack simultaneously for India as well as Cincinnati, as I will spend my list week in the United States visiting friends in Cincinnati. If you know me, you know my Type A personality doesn’t handle un-orderly things. Everything must be written down for me to feel like I have a handle of things, I like to know what I can expect with 2 back-up plans for every situation and every last detail is fine-tuned so I won’t need to use those 2 back-up plans. So naturally you might be thinking (as I have thought to myself before,) “How the heck will she handle India?”

As I have spent time processing this upcoming year, I have prepared myself that it is a year full of unknown. Right now the details are cloudy, I can’t fine-tune anything, making a list is practically impossible and my ability to mentally forecast any situation is completely halted by the unknown. Today, I found peace in that. I noticed that as I was planning out how I would spend the rest of the day and also thinking about the year to come, reading different things online, trying to soak up as much information on Kerala as my brain will allow, I felt ok not needing to be in control. Even though I still have 12 days until I even set out, I see God’s presence on this adventure.