My lovely friend who I affectionately call my little sister leaves for Peace Corps in just a few days. Here is the text from her very first newsletter: 

How it all started …

While attending Emory University, I met many individuals who are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. I looked up the organization, reviewed the application and moved on no longer thinking about ever applying! One day at my West African dance class I met my classmate, Sabrina. I asked her why she decided to take the dance class and she said it reminded her of when she lived in West Africa. Sabrina is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and my “cousin.” I gave her the title “cousin.” My friend DeeDe moved to Atlanta, GA, and joined a cultural Meetup group. The organizer of the group, Leslie, is a recruiter for Peace Corps. My Atlanta Grandpa (my classmate Kristie’s father) is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer! I applied November 2013; interviewed Feb. 2014; invited October 2014 & Jan 2014, I received the official acceptance letter!

The beginning …

On February 1, 2015, I will arrive in Philadelphia, PA.  (There are currently blizzard warnings)! Yikes! On this day I will meet the others in my cohort who will also take the journey to Ghana. On Feb. 2, we will drive to JFK and fly on a direct flight (10 hours) from New York City to Ghana, West Africa.  I have packed 2 suitcases to the max (50lbs), one carry-on and my personal item will be a book bag that I will negotiate as being my purse. (I hope that works)! I’ve packed my favorite spices and a 2lb bag of grits. Oh, how I wanted that 5lb bag to go with me! I’ve reduced my clothes down to about 5 skirts, 3 dresses, 2 pair of pants and 8 shirts. Whenever I weighed my suitcase and something had to go, I would take out clothes! I also have my electronics with a solar charger for my phone. I’m not sure of my living conditions yet, volunteers can be placed in areas with no electricity or water to housing with water and electricity when there isn’t a power cut happening! Yes, electricity is not guaranteed even if you have access to it! However, I’m excited and will adapt to whatever circumstance I will encounter.