Sunday, September 28, 2008

17 hours

Our staging event is over and in less than 17 hours Tina and I will be on a plane on our way to Africa.

First thanks for all the encouraging comments. I know we have only been away for a few short hours but for us it is already beginning to feel as though it has been a lifetime.

Our staging has been an intense time of looking at some of the most difficult things that we may face over the next few months and years. There have been several times where it was definitely gut check time. And after checking our gut, I am reassured that we have made the right decision.

To be honest, up until this point, Tina and I were the only people I knew who were either crazy enough or stupid enough to think that Peace Corps was something that sounded appealing. It made me feel...special...sometimes in good ways because many of you have told us "good job, I am proud of you, you are perfect for the Peace Corps, etc." and other times not so a good. There were feelings of separation, being different, feelings of guilt many people don't experience about leaving people I care about behind. Once we got here though I met 20 other people who were crazy and stupid enough to think that Peace Corps was a good idea. And it was reassuring. During training I found out that there are over 8,000 people serving with the Peace Corps right now. And my thought now is no longer "Am I crazy?" my thought is instead "8,000+ people do this everyday; thus, so can I."

I could write about how I am feeling nervous or excited or both, but the truth is, I'm not feeling any of those things. Well, not to the extent that I was feeling them the last few months. Those feelings have faded into something better I think. I am still excited but not in the roller coaster going over the hill kind of way. More like the excitement you feel when you realize for the first time that a decision you made at a certain point in time was exactly the right decision. I think the emotion is confidence. Not the bull-headed naive confidence of just graduating college and being able to jump into a job and know everything-there-is-to-know without asking a single person. It is the quiet confidence when everything is at peace in your mind; everything has been reconciled, and I am ready to move forward.

I am starting to tear up as I sit here writing this because I know what I have to write next.

We won't be able to update our blog or read your comments for a while. For the next two and half to three months we'll be training big time. Complete immersion in culture language and technical stuff. So, no news is good news. I hope the next few months will treat you well. We'll update again maybe the end of November-ish.

This is me, signing of for now,

good night


john and marie said...

Thanks for the update. We will be waiting to hear more. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Grace be with you. Love mom and dad Waterbury

Shane & Lane said...

Hey guys,

Welcome to Malawi! I guess by the time you read this you will need it to be in Chichewa or Chitumbuka. Which one did you have to end up learning? Lane and I have stuck with English. Well, I just wanted to drop a quick line. I have never bloged before, yet alone with Africans. So, thanks for the new experiences.

Shane & Lane said...

So, this is my plan. Since you will only have a limited time to check and post to this thing, I am going to try to stock it up so you have something to read when you get to it. And then other people will read this post and my idea will spread like wildfire and then eventually you won't even have time to read all of the messages, (or feel the good rubbing if I just miss spelled that)

Shane & Lane said...

I hope you guys are staying out of trouble. The other night I had this dream that Lane and I were getting together with a bunch of friends from Huntington. the two of you included. We were all caravanning somewhere and had to get gas and many of us went in and the gas station was robbed, including everybody who was in it. As it turns out it was you two who did it. Apparently Tina, you have a little fetish with felony crimes. Zeb told me that since you guys are married now things won't be like they were. So, he was now going to be committing a lot more felonies.

I know... weird. I just thought you might like to hear my dreams. Well, dream. I won't tell you all of them.

cindy said...

Thanks so much for the letters. We were so excited to hear from you guys. Your in our prayers everyday and can't wait to hear more.. Much Love, Be safe... Mom and Dad Randle

Shane & Lane said...


We did not get letters... but, we did just get those Arizona books in the mail! The Post Office must have lost them somewhere. Just kidding (Thanks Marie) But it is perfect, because next week we are going to Arizona to visit Lane's family. So, waterholes here we come.

We pray you are doing well.

Shane & Lane said...


Remember one Applebutter when Zeb and I did that crazy two-man-summersault-wheel-thing? Well, this past weekend we had our youth retreat and I had all the kids pair up and have a race doing that. The result: Zeb and I are the best two-man-summersault-wheel-thingers ever! I just thought you could use that bit of encouragement.