Our time in Philly is wrapping up! Tomorrow morning, we all go to the clinic to get shots and then off to the airport for a very long journey to Cameroon. We’ll fly 7ish hours to Paris, 8ish hours to Douala, then another 50 min. to the capital. It sounds bad, but not as bad as 14ish hours of direct flight from LA to Taipei. When a 14-hour flight like that is your first flying experience ever, all subsequent flights seem pretty easy. I should be okay. I have a couple of books ready to go and lots of podcasts loaded on my iPod. I love flying, but I don’t want to rub it in when all the others are dreading the long journey.
In less than 36 hours, I’ve bonded with a new set of family. Our group consists of 36 great individuals from across the US; approximately half in education and the other in business. Already, I have discovered different personalities and quirks. These next three months will be very interesting!
Today, our training consisted a lot of safety and health issues. Among the volunteers, many conversations took place about things that we are worried about. I, apparently am very naïve, and hadn’t thought about half of the things people discussed. These issues range from, “I wonder if we have to start a fire” to other things having to do sickness cause from water and food, etc. There were many moments tonight where I thought, “wow, I really didn’t think of that.” But a part of me think that naiveté had saved me because there really wasn’t a darn think I could’ve done to better prepare myself. My mentality was always, “if people with nothing can live through war and crazy things, I’ll be fine.”
Funny side story: Some girl was telling a story of a person who had gotten malaria many years ago and had lost a ton of weight, but has never been able to regain the weight since. So I said, “that sounds fantastic, maybe I should get malaria.” With that comment, I am now the girl who wants the “malaria diet”. My friend said, “we’ll go visit you in the hospital with flowers and say, ‘Wendy, you look so great! Malaria really worked for you.’”