What's more mind blowing than how much has happened since my last post is that in 26 hours I will be boarding a plane to Ethiopia for the summer. I'm leaving this continent for the first time and going to AFRICA!!
I interviewed for Ethiopia 2 days before the DC marathon, but didn't find out for a couple weeks that I got it. Even now, one day away from the journey, I still can't believe it's actually happening.
I'm going to work on a nutrition project for the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP - where I've been an intern since November). I will look at the baseline research, develop training materials and job aids, document the project and try to improve cooperation between the different partners. I'll be based in an office in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, but will spend some time traveling to remote regions for workshops and documentation.
Here are some FAQs:
Yes, I'm going to run in Ethiopia. How could I not?!
Yes, I will have weekends off and hope to do and see all sorts of fun cool things!
No, I do not know where I'm living yet. I have to find housing when I arrive.
Yes, I like Ethiopian food.
No, I do not know any of the language (Amharic).
No, I am not going with a group, I am going alone.
No, my phone won't work. I will have Skype and google and will get a local phone for emergencies.
Yes, I'm bringing my camera!
Yes, this is something I applied for.
Oh yes, I got 7 vaccinations via 9 shots. I also have tons of anti-malarials and antibiotics.
No, it's not going to be scorching hot - Addis is at almost 8000 feet in altitude. Temps should be in the 70s.
Yes, I am coming back for Rachel Kirsch's wedding in July! It wasn't debatable.
When I get back, I will continue to work at CCP in Baltimore for 3 more months. Then I will write a paper about the project I worked on. Then I will have a masters degree!
Yes, I'm prepared to be completely shocked.
Jimmy has been nothing but supportive and wonderful. Of course I will miss him a lot.
Yes, I'm both terrified and beyond excited.
I will be taking lots of pictures and blogging here as often as I can - so stay tuned for some Ethiopian adventures! It should be much more interesting than anything I've ever posted.
Since school ended and I've been preparing for the trip, life has been pretty celebratory.
I have been completely spoiled with fun things and well wishes from family and friends. I wish everyone could come with me!
I'm not looking forward to the final goodbyes tomorrow, but definitely ready for an adventure.