Today I received my “Bridge” electronic packet from the Peace Corps, which includes such vital information as suggested packing lists, staging information, flight numbers, and details about what the first three months of my life are going to be like when I arrive in Kenya. (Apparently, we’re spending a couple of days in ‘robi to start with after all; who knew?) I read it immediately, of course. After the year-long application where updates are brief and sporadic, having ACTUAL DETAIL to plan by is like the blessed start of the rainy season. But as I immersed myself in instructions about toothpaste and shoes and passport-sized-visa-photos, I felt a … twinge. A tension. A hitch in my diaphragm.

That’s right, for the first time in 12+ months, I felt a legitimate fluttering of nerves.

The point of traveling outside your comfort zone isn’t to do things that don’t alarm you in the least, but to be uneasy and do them anyway. THAT’S what courage is. A little apprehension is required for travel anyway; it is, after all, what keeps one from getting into trouble. In my various adventures, I’ve learned to let my instincts serve me as they wish.

Still, a moment of “OMG, I HAVE SO MUCH LEFT TO DO BEFORE I GO, AND THEN I’M GOING, WHAAAT” isn’t what I was hoping for. I just finished my thesis this morning. A slight break for shameless relaxation would have been nice. But … here we go. My spaniel-like levels of excitement are tempered slightly by the rush of time, the multitude of tasks left to do, and the visceral realization that I’m 32 days from 2+ years in the Rift.

As they say, shit just got *real.*