June 1, 2008

What's The Agenda?

Staging has been great; it was a two-day orientation provided by Peace Corps before our group flight out to Mongolia and included sessions on "Personal Definitions of Success", "Anxieties and Aspirations," "Crossing Cultures," "Safety and Security" and many other important things. We were very lucky to have our staging event in the incredibly beautiful city of San Francisco, of which I have a few pictures and video below. So far I must say I am very impressed with the quality of our group, we have great people that I am very proud to be serving with and I look forward to getting to know them more as the weeks go on during training.

Tomorrow we will be leaving the San Francisco airport at 12:40pm, arriving in Mongolia around 9:00pm (on Monday...yeah I know, international date line, it's crazy). We will meet tons of current Volunteers there at the airport, which is going to be awesome. They, the Volunteers, have said that it is the highlight of their year and I think that is really saying something in an incredible place like Mongolia. Right after that we are going to be spirited off to a stunning ger (or yurt) camp for a few days of relaxed orientation and jetlag recovery and then it's off to one of the largest cities in Mongolia for two weeks of informational sessions, vaccinations and so forth. We have a lot ahead of us, that's for sure, but it is going to be great I know.

As far as internet connections and how much I will be able to communicate with you all, I'm not sure right now. What I will say is that I should be on the internet within the next month, hopefully blogging here, writing e-mails and also using Skype. If you would like to download Skype and sign-up to use it (it's free and easy, don't worry), I would love to chat with you via webcams. My name on Skype is TravisHellstrom, so just as me as a friend as we will be all set. So far I have been able to talk with Wee, my mom, Anna, Chess and Elias and it's only been two days! Give it a try, I think you'll like it. Thank you all for your well wishes and excitement, I look forward to sharing more pictures and videos soon and I hope you all have a great week!


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