What would you bring if you were stranded on an island? Of course when you are a smart little kid you say “a boat” or a “a phone” so that you can leave the island. But now I am 23 and voluntarily headed to Guyana for 27 months and I am forced to ask myself, “what do I bring with me that will fit in two suitcases, that will not weigh more than 100lbs combined?”
Over the past few months I have spent a lot of time collecting all of the items I need to bring with me to Guyana. Everything from conservative clothing, to hand sanitizer, to inflatable solar lanterns. I think it is safe to say I have everything I need. The hardest part was fitting everything in my limited bags. I am only allowed two suitcases to check, each with a maximum weight of 50lbs, and one carry on bag that cannot weigh over 22lbs (based on Caribbean airline rules). I am also required to be able to carry all of my luggage on my own so thankfully one of my carry on bags turns into a backpack, especially with all the traveling on the first day.
So tomorrow is the day! I fly out at 8am in Seattle and head to Philadelphia. All the volunteers going to Guyana are meeting at a hotel in Philly and will be there for the night. Monday, 6/11, we have meetings from 9am to 6pm. 6pm we take a bus to JFK airport and fly out at 530am on Tuesday morning. Our flight is 5.5hrs long straight to Georgetown, Guyana. Then it is a 2hr bus ride, a 1.5hr ferry ride, and finally a 1hr bus ride to our final destination. We will be in the capitol for the first three months doing extensive training and living with a host family. Then we swear in and spend the next two years in our own little town and a new host family working in a local school and clinic.
Overall, I am super excited to finally get going! These last couple days have been amazing with all my friends and family and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing and supportive people. Even being so far away I know I have a huge family behind me and supporting me through whatever life throws at me. I hope to keep in contact with as many people as possible and at least post a blog about what is going on in my life. I know my address for the first three months if anyone is interested in sending me mail but my next host family address will be posted later.
(Elizabeth Quick, GUY 31)
“How lucky am I to have friends like you that make saying goodbye so hard”
Finally, thank you to everyone who took the time to say good bye. I am really glad I was able to see so many of you before I left! I promise I will not forget about any of you! I think 27 months will go by faster than expected and I know everyone will be off doing their own amazing things!
It is not goodbye, but see you later!
I love you all!