Gariety's Peace Corps Paraguay Adventure travel blog


Hello one and all, (all my friends and family):

I hope the New Year, 2010, is treating you all well so far. It has brought me both adventures (see next blog for details) and challenges so far. 2010 will be a year of transitions for me as I finish up my service here in Paraguay and with the Peace Corps. Since today is Sunday, I have 11 full weeks left as a volunteer/coordinator and then this phase of my life will come to an end. As you can imagine this time is difficult for several reasons. One is that, just as graduation senior being to "check out" as they being to plan for life after school, I am beginning to withdraw and relinquish some of my responsibilities. I am currently the longest serving health volunteer in country, meaning I have the most answers and most experience, but I have started referring questions a bit to the gal who will be taking my place in the office next year, Hannah, and other volunteers that have decided to stay on. . I realize also that I need to remain a bit detached from the new training class we just ushered in. They look to me to place them in a great site and help them find their footing but since I will not be here once they are sworn in, it doesn’t do either of us much good to form a strong bond. That is better left for the volunteers entering their 2nd and 3rd years. This realization has left me feeling both liberated and sad.

Also this time is a bit lonely. Many of my friends have left country now, they have moved on and are back in the “real world” and I don’t have the energy or desire to make new friendships when leaving is inevitable. Peace Corps has constant turnover; for every new training class that swears in, another swears out. Now the volunteers I served with around my community have mostly all finished or have joined me in Asuncion, so basically, everything has already begun to change. I feel a bit like the earth has moved beneath my feet, what seemed so solid and great a few months ago feels empty and tired.

Lastly, I am nervous to be back home and back in “America” for the first time in over 3 years. I know it will be overwhelming at times, but I am also looking forward to weddings and reconnecting with folks. I’ll be home for a few months in the summer before I head out for Grad school.

Transition 4 for 2010: grad school. I will be entering next fall so I will be moving and getting ready to go back to the life of a student after not having studied or written much for 4 years (yikes)!

All this being said I know that no matter how apprehensive I am about re-entering life in the States, it is finally time for me to leave Paraguay. I will be relying on all of you to give me reasons to be excited to come home and help my transition back as smooth as it could possibly be.

What will my transition timeing look like exactly you ask? It’s not be pretty! Just joking, this is where you all come in. You are invited to join me at ANY STOP along the way, literally, because I am looking for ANY & ALL TRAVEL PARTNERS willing to join in my madness! See my draft travel plans to find out when and where! Let me know soon(ish) if you are interested in coming down and traveling with me.

DRAFT TRAVEL ITINERARY

May 7-10th ….. Official Close of PC Service and prepares to leave Paraguay

May 13th ….. Fly from Asuncion to Bogotá, Colombia.

May 13th ….. Depending on fares and timing I will then either bus or fly up to Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast in Northern Colombia.

May 14h – 16th or so) …… Santa Marta and the Tayronas National Park

May 17th – 22nd …… Ciudad Perdida (lost City) Trek: the trek takes 5 nights/6 days but everything I have read says it is completely worth it!

May 23th -26th (or so) ….. Cartagena!!!

May 26th ….. Bus back to Bogotá (overnight)

May 27th – May 30th ….. Bogata

May 30th ….. Bus to Cali (in Southwestern Colombia)

May 31st – June 1st….. Cali (Salsa dancing capital of the world)

June 1st ….. Bus into Ecuador, probably to Quito (the capital)

June 2nd – June 20th ….. Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

* This is where things get a bit fuzzier… I have 19 days….

- 6 days - I will either be spending a few nights in an eco-travel lodge or taking a tour around Ecuador (depending if I am traveling alone)

- 9 days … Galapagos Islands….

- 3 days Quito and surrounding area…

* I am not sure what order i will do these in, but I will get back to Quito to fly out….

June 20th – 21st ….. Fly from Quito, Ecuador to ID (probably Boise)! I’m home!

June 25th – Fly Boise to San Jose, CA (Steph & Josh’s wedding)

June 27th- July 2nd ….. San Francisco, CA (wedding prep with Jenica)

June 2nd – Fly from San Jose to Portland, OR (Andrew & Melissa’s wedding)

June 5th – Fly Portland to Boise, ID and finally get back home to stay!

August ? - I pack up and move to for grad school (I’ll let you know where as soon as I know)

Thanks for reading, and come join me in my journey!

Gariety



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