The 60th person has joined our Macedonia Facebook Group today. Of that Group, we have slightly more than 20 who are Invitees; the other members are PCVs actively serving in Macedonia and are in either the end of their first or second year. Those of us who are Invitees have 38 days until Staging. Hopefully, we will hear from the PC in the next week regarding where we will be meeting for Staging.
It appears that we wmight be in Philadelphia,
However, we have heard that there is a possibility that Washington, DC might be the place.
At this point, we do not know. We just have to await notification and plan accordingly.
Now, new anxieties begin to build; What PC paperwork needs to be completed, what gifts to pack for the Host Families, what to decide to leave Stateside to be shipped after arrival at site, and so on.
I have begun a farewell tour, making trips to visit friends and family for a last in-person visit which will have to carry me for the next 27 months, unless any of them manage to visit me in Macedonia.
Meanwhile, I have finished reading "Bury Me Standing" and I must now finish reading "Balkan Ghosts" and get on with "Who are the Macedonians?" The Borders book stores have gone into bankruptcy and during their "Closing Sale" I snagged some great travel books for the Balkan region as well as nice large maps of the USA and the world to bring along. Arranging for a 'no international transaction fee' and 'no annual fee' credit card and completing financial matters here is more complicated and time-consuming than I had anticipated. The decision as to what computer equipment to purchase has been finalized and the winner was a laptop; no tablet and no smart phone. I'll make do with the phone my wife used while living and working in Germany. The sim card in it is easily exchanged. Skype is working for us Stateside (had a wonderful video chat with our daughter last evening between Philadelphia, PA and Jacksonville Beach, FL) so we hope to use that internationally.
In the coming weeks, there will be a shift in the posting of my blogs; I have decided to discontinue with this venue (Blogger) and to move on to a new venue when I depart for Staging. It appears right now that I will shift over to WordPress for the new stage of blogging. I hope that the new postings will be less cluttered with old 'stuff' in the margins that was important to me through the application process and more reflective of my service and experiences while serving in Macedonia. I will post a final notice here before doing so and the new blog address will be the last thing posted here.