Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Itinerary, Feelings, Updates

About a week ago, I received my staging information for my upcoming move to Mali. If you are in DC or Paris and are interested in seeing me (I am interested in seeing YOU!!) I'll probably ask that you meet me somewhere because I'm sure that my time and mobility will be limited.

American Airlines #4436 
Depart: NASHVILLE, TN   :   6:30am January 31, 2011 (ugh)
Arrive: WASHINGTON/NATL,DC   :   9:15am January 31, 2011
Total Flight Time: 1h 45m
TRAINING CLASS #: 688-11-01
STAGING DATES: Monday, January 31, 2011 – Tuesday, February 1, 2011
REGISTRATION: 12:00 PM on Monday, January 31, 2011
STAGING HOTEL: Holiday Inn Georgetown, 2101 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20007

Monday, January 31
  • 12:00 PM (Registration)
  • 2:00 - 4:25 PM (Who We Are and What’s Expected of You)
  • 4:25 - 4:45 PM (Break)
  • 4:45 - 7:00 PM (What You Expect, What’s Next, Closing)
Tuesday, February 1st 2011 (LAST DAY IN THE US!!!)
  • 12:00 PM (Check out of hotel)
  • 1:00 PM (Bus leaves for clinic)
  • 2:00 PM (Clinic appointment--(drugs, vaccines, hopefully something for the flight-- weird fact: Even though I'm not obese or in a nursing home I get really nervous about Deep Venous Thrombosis on long flights which prevents me from sleeping for more than 15-25 minutes at a time)
  • 9:55 PM Flight departs for Mali!
Remaining Flight Itinerary:
  •  Depart: Washington, D.C. at 9:55pm on February 1st
  • Arrive: Paris at 11:15AM on February 2nd
  • Airline: Delta/Air France Flight # 8331  
  • Total Flight Time: 7 Hours 20 Minutes (Non-Stop)
Wednesday, February 2, 2011 
 (five hour layover in Paris!! <---- I LOVE that city, I'm mega excited about this)
  • Depart: Paris CDG at 4:10pm
  • Arrive: Bamako, Mali at 8:50pm
  • Airline: Delta/Air France (YESSSS this means decent food and unlimited wine) Flight #8540
  • Total Flight Time: 5 Hours 40 Minutes (Non-Stop)
So in little less than a month, I'll be securely located in a new city, in a new country, on a new continent starting my new job. In the past few days, I've noticed that I'm paying particular attention to very weird things: the temperature of my front porch on my bare feet in the morning, the texture of carpet on my toes, the process of "doing laundry" (pressing buttons), making dinner on a stove (turning knobs), the impulsive action of using running water, cuddling myself into my covers at night. Part of me rationalizes these behaviors as just preparing my mind for the 180 my life is about to take. Part of me is thinking, "Chelsea, you're a dramatic nut job, stop thinking about touching things in your house." It makes me laugh a little, actually. I mean, am I over-preparing? Am I totally going to be blindsided? I'm sure it'll be a little of both, but we'll have to wait and see. 

I'm also really cognizant of the fact that my packing hasn't really progressed in that last few weeks. The giant pile of stuff in the spare bedroom has literally collected dust since it was abandoned at first news of my cancelled staging to Guinea. Mali and Guinea share a border, yes, but that doesn't mean my packing list doesn't need to address the fact that I'm going to an entirely different culture and country. I am notoriously BAD at packing (once I packed for a weekend to my friend's in New Orleans, only to bring three black dresses, one pair of pants (the ones I was wearing) and nothing warm-- it was like 30 degrees there the whole time). I keep having nightmares that I'm going to forget something vital. I know I'm just overthinking it, but 70lbs fills up fast and I am very aware that I need to be on my packing A-game for this.

lots of stuff that conveniently hides behind a door
I know I said before that the next few posts would be about my job, but this is stuff that's been on my mind. I'll post that stuff soon. Today's schedule: read some more blogs about Mali, formulate a new packing list, and hit up Amazon.com. Thank goodness for high-speed internet access. 

Happy New Year!