Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Wow, what a whirlwind!
Wow, what amazing people!
Wow, I leave for Africa tomorrow...

58 Americans have travelled to this location (Philly) to begin the process of learning how to integrate and seek acceptance in a foreign land. The Peace Corps calls this coming together Staging.

Certain feelings are very strong here, and being experienced by what seems to be everyone in the group. There is excitement, fear of the unknown, fear of lost baggage, fear of overweight baggage, unfocused anxiety, exceptional warmth towards others, and an extremely strange feeling: the fear of deciding to drop out.

It sounds strange, the fear of deciding to drop out -- and yet, it is not strange to me, for even I have felt it -- to my surprise. The only consolation to any of us is the fact that so many others in the group are experiencing the same feeling.

I had expected there to be warmth towards others; I had not expected the strength of it. I am truly in the company of some very wonderful people, and I am humbled.

In the spirit of "Into the Void", I am going to train my focus on the next rock.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


It's 3:00 am and the Haase house is beginning to come to life. We have to leave the house at 3:45 am so that we can get to Madison, Wisconsin in time for my flight to Philly.

It is sad to leave the people I care about for such a long time. It is even harder for me to feel them feeling sad as I walk away.

I will arrive in Philly sometime after 11:00 am. Once I arrive I hope to hookup with two other Peace Corps volunteers and then the three of us will make our way to our hotel.

Will will need to get settled in, eat, and then go to registration. It sounds like I will be sharing a room with one or two other people.

Monday, November 07, 2005

New Bag Weights

OK, scope creep even occurs in packing...

Here are my final bag weights:
  • Big backpack is 44 lbs
  • Duffle is 25 lbs
  • Little backpack is 18 lbs