Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On the joys of knowing where I'm going (at least where I'm going this September)

The fact that I'm leaving for Ghana in a little over 7 months is making it impossible for me to concentrate on anything BUT Ghana. I've been researching everything about the country and keep finding more and more to research.
My first order of business though, besides calling all my family and friends, was to make myself a t-shirt to tell the world...

I mean, come on - who could resist that pun? I think next I'll have to make one that says, "Here today. Ghana tomorrow." Hehehe. The Voits are rubbing off on me.
I also decided that I needed to get my hands on a good guide book for the country. Lonely Planet (often referred to by my friends and I as the traveler's bible) doesn't have a book specifically on Ghana, only one on West Africa in General. That didn't really matter though, as Barnes and Noble carried neither the Lonely Planet West Africa book nor the Guide to Ghana that I eventually settled on. I decided to try Half Price Books on the way home, and though they too were deficient in books on Ghana, I was able to find a Twi-English dictionary. Twi? Yes, Twi. Twi is the most widely spoken of the non-English languages in Ghana. A good starting place for someone like me who is going to be living there.
I'm still on the prowl for guide books and possibly a good map to display prominently on my wall.
Did I'm mention I'm excited?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Drum roll, please...

Here's the news we've all been waiting for.
As I was driving back to Dallas from my dentist appointment in Austin on Monday, I received a phone call from an unidentified number. Since I've been waiting for THE call to come, I answered politely, "Hannah Frank."
"Hi this is ---- from the Peace Corps Placement Office. How are you today?"
Mmmmmm, "Great" now that you've called.
After pulling over and having a thirty minute conversation with the nice lady from DC, I was informed that a letter of invitation was on its way to my door.
For some reason, they could not reveal the specific country to me over the phone, but I did learn my departure date and region - Africa, Sept. 20, 2008. That left me with 3-5 business days in which to pace back in forth in angst, wondering where I could be heading.
You can imagine my excitement when I went to take the trash out on Friday afternoon and saw the mail man at the mail station. Poor man - I probably scared him half to death.
"HEY! Did you bring me anything exciting today?! Possibly a large envelope from Washington?!"
Joy of joys, there it sat, at the bottom of his bin of mail. I could have hugged him, if he had looked more like the sort who would liked to be hugged by a stranger.
I couldn't wait until I got back to my apartment. Halfway between the mail box and my building I read the magical word - "GHANA."
That's right folks. I'm leaving on September 20th for the West Africa nation of Ghana. I haven't had a lot of time to research the country yet, as I had to leave for a retreat about 20 minutes after receiving the letter. I do know off the top of my head that it was the first country to which Peace Corps volunteers were assigned when the program began in 1961. Therefore, I feel like I'm joining quite a team.
I'll try and keep you posted as time toils on between now and then. If you're in the mood for a little reading on the Peace Corps in general between now and then, I've added a bunch of stuff to my website (http://web.mac.com/hannahefrank/iWeb/Site/Peace%20Corps.html).
Until later,