Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Seven Bridges...

Guyana Sun Setting over the Ocean

There are stars in the southern sky
Southward as you go....
There is moon light and moss in the trees
Down the Seven Bridges Road....

Now I have loved you like a baby
Like some lonesome child
And I have loved you in a tame way
And I have loved you wild

Sometimes there's a part of me
Has to turn from here and go
Running like a child from these warm stars
Down the Seven Bridges Road.....

There are stars in the southern sky
And if ever you decide you should go
There is a taste of time sweetened honey
Down the Seven Bridges Road.....

Steve Young really knows how to write a beautiful song. The haunting, poetic, magical song speaks to me like an old memory that I forget about until I listen to the lyrics pouring out. I can close my eyes and be suddenly lost in another world where I'm back, running through the Georgia woods behind my house, laughing with the neighborhood kids, chasing fireflies and not getting cold even though the sun had long set. I wonder if my experience(s) in Guyana will be like these fond memories the song invokes; the way I can still taste the sweet tea, or smell the rain in the air before it comes pouring down, and the way a summer picnic could bring families from far to the same crowded but joyful spot. I can listen to this song over and over and it still makes me feel like I'm standing in one of my memories, content and feeling like nothing in the world could shake me.

I can only hope for memories that evoke so much feeling and emotion as this song causes me to relive each time I hear it. Will I make new memories that make me stop and wish I could relive them in Guyana? Will I find things I've been searching for? Will I be able to fulfill my role as someone who makes a difference? Will I find that I've got a longer road to go before I'm truly content with my life, my self, my heart and my deeds? I guess looking back years from now, I'll know then....

Friday, January 23, 2009

To Snow or Not to Snow..That is the question...today at least

It's been snowing on and off today. Not even snowing...I'd call it flurrying. It'll snow for a small amount of time, and then it'll stop. And start up again. It's like my emotions about this trip. Last night, over plates of Chinese food, my mom started tearing up (when does she not?) and said, "Lu, You only have one more month here". For some reason I rolled my eyes, but then when I woke up this morning, tears poured out. It wasn't from the workout I did at 5:30am, and it wasn't from my fingers touching the hot straigtening iron...I'm just getting nervous. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited, but there's a part of me who's equally nervous, and sad to boot.

I wonder what getting on that plane will feel like; what saying goodbye to the ones I really care about will take; if I'll wake up in Guyana and wish that I were just waking up to go to work at home instead. Nightmares? Sure I've got them... but they're not about the things I think about when I'm awake.

Now the snow's coming down hard and you can't see the mountains anymore. The sky's a permanent gray-ish white and you can barely see the trees in the distance. Days like these come and go, I know. I just wonder if my fear and worrying will too. Or if it'll just increase closer to my departure date. On off, on off.... This emotional rollercoaster I've decided to ride is going through loops faster than I can throw up my hands and squeal, but as soon as I recover, another loop-de-loop comes right around the bend.

I know the butterflies in my stomach will come and go. I know it'll be different in a couple days. I know when it's all said and done, it'll be one of the best experiences of my life. These are all things I know. What I don't know is how to handle leaving...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"It always seems impossible until it's done" - Nelson Mandela

At least that's what I keep repeating to myself... I am leaving for Guyana (South America) in t-minus 4 weeks, 3 days, however many hours and seconds. It still hasn't fully hit me yet that I'm leaving. I mean, sure I've gone to JAX and gotten somethings to bring with me, and sure I've told my work (an experience in itself), I've talked about it with friends and family, but it really hasn't hit me yet. I'm sure it'll be hour 3 on the plane to Guyana and all of the sudden, I'll say, SHIT!! I'm really going and doing this! I guess if there were more to know and more to prepare myself, I'd feel more ready and more adjusted, but as it turns out, I've read all I can and I've talked to people that are in the "Peace Corps loop" but nothing can prepare an individual for the experience they are going to have.

Here's what I know:
- I'll be leaving February 22nd for Philly to do staging (bascially an orientation and a gathering of the other members of people who are going with me).
- I can only bring 80 lbs of junk with me. That's 40 lbs per bag and one carry-on.
- Guyana is 5 degrees N of the Equator, so that means I'll have a curly fro for sure.
- I'm pretty sure I'll have email access, but it all depends on what I'm doing there and where I'll live.
- I'm going to be a Community Education Promoter. (What that is...I'll let you know more as I know more)
- It's going to be hot as hell, and there's going to be bugs, bugs and more bugs. Oh and snakes too.
- Guyana is the only English speaking country in South America.
- Their exchange rate is $200 for our $1. I'll be making $40,000 a month! WOOOO!!!
- The rainforest there is lush and practically untouched.
- I'm going to miss my friends and family so much, but I'm sure that 2 1/2 years are going to go by really fast.

I guess Nelson really knows what he's talking about, but I'll have to experience it myself just to be sure.