Wednesday, June 13, 2007

17 Days and Counting!

So I'm getting closer to departure. I spent last week riding and mapping trails in Northern Wisconsin. I have now had weekends with most of my college and Peace Corps friends. This weekend I visit the fam and say goodbye (no tears, I'll be home for Christmas). One and a half weeks in the office, then an eight-day, 335-mile bikeride and then I'm off. Yeah!

I'm living in Mount Pleasant with my very kind friends Christina and Geoff. I feel like I'm staying at a hotel: I have a t.v. in my room so I can go to sleep right after watching The Daily Show and the past two nights they have made me dinner! I'm actually hoping that doesn't keep happening because it could make me feel fairly guilty.

Yesterday I obtained my visa. This makes it very real. I'd been writing Kumari in Sewalanka's HR department for weeks about this document and finally she announced the Embassy here in DC had the paperwork and I should go ahead and apply. Oddly, I received a tourist visa. Apparently this is the correct outcome -- I will get my resident, working visa after I arrive in Sri Lanka. I told the Embassy twice I was working there and they didn't blink when they handed me a tourist (read: not for working) visa. I guess this is all o.k. -- I mean the Embassy people were the ones who said I'd get a work visa when I arrived (Sewalanka Foundation staff have since confirmed).

My big concern, beyond the visa, this week is luggage. Since I fly through London I only get one carry-on. This causes a huge problem because my camera is itself one carry-on. I believe I've figured it out -- the camera fits inside my larger flower power backpack and then I can have my hard-drive and computer in there also (with other various things I'd like during flight). I get two check-in bags each 50 lbs., so that should be enough checked baggage. My carry-on bag is technically heavier than allowed, but I really doubt anyone is going to suggest I check my camera.

It is starting to feel a little real. Not living in my own place with only my luggage helps.

17 days and counting!

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