Currently, I am sitting on a twice delayed plane en route to Peru. I have already pissed off the passenger in front of me with my belting of several Backstreet Boys ballads, lost a boarding pass, and have introduced my new Peace Corps friend Kelsi to Texas Country music. My butt also happens to be completely numb. We have about three hours of the flight to go (so we land at about midnight) and Tooth Fairy (starring The Rock) is playing. What an absolutely terrible movie to show. I have also been picking up Spanish phrases thanks to another Peace Corps buddy Jeff and the flight attendants, so now my Spanish vocabulary is up to about 15 words.
Yesterday we had staging where we listened to policies and procedures, wrote down thoughts, met people, and ate that crap hotel candy that they provide business meetings with. It was a joy to meet everyone and just kick it.
We span all different backgrounds- from my boy Curtis out of Funkytown (Ft. Worth, Texas for those who are unfamiliar with Texas city lingo) to a volunteer (the name escapes me- there are 56 of us) who played soccer at a Division 3 college.
You can tell lots about an organization when its members come back and work for them, as the four people who worked staging were RPCVs (returned Peace Corps volunteers) who served in Nicaragua, Kiribati and Zambia within the past decade. Granted its a government job that has decent benefits, but these people cared enough about the organization to come back and work for them. It’s kind of cool, and made me a bit more excited about service.
Anyway, staging was pretty nonchalant, and after staging I boarded my favorite piece of public transportation in the world, the DC Metro, with another new PC friend Julianne. I ended up meeting my former professor from the Washington Semester Program at American University, Christian Maisch. It was nice catching up with him and hearing about what to expect climate wise in Peru, different sites to see, and politics of Peru- he is always a good source of information (he also happens to be a Peruvian). Nice coming back to Tenleytown as well- there is an eclectic mix of restaurants in that area, and I enjoyed having the Whole Foods be across the street from me when I was there in the Fall of 2008.
After eating some delicious deep dish pizza, I met up my friend Laura who I hadn’t seen since the Washington Semester program ended. We met up at our old stomping ground, the Front Page at Dupont Circle, drank some cheap American beer (goodbye Miller Lite) and caught up with each other’s lives.
Unfortunately, after some good natured ribbing amongst friends, I had to call it an early night due to the fact that I had to be up at the ass crack of dawn. Granted, my roommate John William and I ended up staying up to watch the conclusion of the Lakers-Celtics game (goodbye HDTV).
Today was all about traveling, spending hours in the airport, and bonding with PCVs. Though my dad gets me to the airport at the most inconvenient times, I have never been to an airport four hours in advance of a flight. Totally annoying. However, it ended up being for the better, as I figured out new music, meeting new people, and eagerly anticipating the first game of the World Cup, Mexico-South Africa (ended in a tie).
I do enjoy watching sporting events at the airport- but watching the World Cup was totally different than watching the Players Championship (pro Golf) as people seemed to watch the match more intently, and the crowd was a mix of people, rather than a bunch of old white dudes in Burberry suits. It’s good that a ton of us PCVs are soccer fans too, makes World Cup watching a bonding experience and more enjoyable in that you can get varying opinions on the game.
Anyway, we get to Miami from DC, no problem. We get to Miami, pick up ourselves a nice Cuban sandwich and met the funniest Puerto Rican Vietnam Vet in the food line. After playing some Egyptian Ratscrew (card game) and watching part of Uruguay-France, PCV volunteer Rob and I think up the great idea to play a little soccer in the airport terminal. This was a great idea, for most of it. Neither of us has very good foot dexterity, which made innocent people in the waiting area seceptible (spelling error) to our errant kicks. This went on for about 45 minutes and included a two year old Israeli kid in the mix as well.
After the PCV who played soccer in college was cussed out by a random passenger, we finished playing, and learned some more card games thanks to PCV Speare as we were waiting out the mechanical details and Rob and I began creating a World Cup pool.
Anyway, that was about it for the day. The next time I write something, I’ll be in Peru. Awesome. Nothin much else to say, I’m probably going to wake Kelsi up to read this over.