As I’m sitting here watching a re-run of Saturday Night Live, with Tina Fey hosting, my idol and largest girl crush, I can’t help but freak the freak out about having a week and some change left in the country. I mean, I suppose I have in some ways come to better terms with being terrified of leaving the country, but now I’m down to the much-dreaded ‘doing everything for the last time’ stage. Seeing friends for the last time, watching Netflix for the last time, taking a two hour bubble bath because I can for the last time. I’m almost positive they don’t have bubble baths in Cameroon.
This past week has been a little more active than some others. I headed into a neighborhood friend’s high school classroom to do a presentation on the Peace Corps and how I managed to get to this point. It was cool to see some of the kids have their interests piqued by the PC, though most just seemed to happy to not have to do any classwork. I can’t blame them for not being full engrossed in something I love so much. I know that having some chick come into my classroom and talk about something I wasn’t that interested in at the end of a long week of high school wouldn’t light up my day.
One class in particular, though, was really amusing with their questions. They had ones I hadn’t ever gotten before (a real skill!), but most of them were the usual. One of the boys stopped me about halfway through my presentation and said “Wait… why are you doing this? This sounds like torture!” His question echoed what I’ve heard some many people say so far– both his age and decades older. There’s usually only two sides to the Peace Corps coin. One side is delighted at your choice and wants to keep in contact with you while you’re gone. The other side cocks their head to the side and questions why any sane human would endure those conditions just to help some people. Go figure.
That adventure was on Friday. On Saturday, I went to the park built in Atlanta for the 96 Olympics and took a self defense course. I was kind of dreading it and seriously considered not signing up at all, but instead YouTubing videos of how to fend against attackers and hoping that did the trick in an emergency situation. Well, I eat my words. I had a really great time working with the couple who runs the program (www.DivasinDefense.com). Not to mention, I feel like I could kick some butt if I had to. Before my number one strategy would have to claw n’ run. Anyone who has met me, however, knows that …um… I’m not much of a runner. It’s pretty likely that this strategy would have gotten me killed. NOW, though, I know how to break a wrist in two different ways. I’ve leveled-up on the badass scale.
The only things left, really, are a trip to Athens, my going away party, and packing up all my clothes. Then I head to the airport and hop on a plane.
T minus 10 days and counting.