A tip of advice to all future PCV's, don't tell people around you that you are leaving for the corps outside of your family and closest friends until at least 2 weeks before you leave. Otherwise you will be telling the same stories over and over and over about where you are going, giving a B.S. response as to what you will be doing (because I have no clue really! something with teaching!), hearing from many people how they wish they could do what you are doing (annoying because in most cases they could be). They will want to know a million detailed things about the country where you are going to serve even though you have probably never been to it. You will find yourself reciting what you have read on other PCV's blogs, your slightly outdated PC Welcome book, Wikipedia or what you have heard from you recruiter or whomever else. You will be praised as a great person for your sacrifice, even though you haven't done anything yet! Don’t get me wrong, part of my reason in doing the Peace Corps is to try to do some good in this world. However, if my main intention was to do good things, I don’t have to travel across the world to start doing it! I understand what people mean about the whole process and I thank them for their compliments and yes I do agree that the Peace Corps has great intentions and hopefully after I served my two years I will have had made a positive difference, I just don’t think what myself and however many other PCV’s are doing is that big of a sacrifice. I think if more people thought that it wasn’t such a big deal or sacrifice, maybe we could get more people to do it!
The past 3-4 weeks in Alaska has been the coldest I have ever experienced in the 4 years I have lived here. We had 3 weeks of sub-zero temperatures, I think our high might have been like 4 degrees. Yesterday the temp hit 22*!!! 22 felt like a freaking heat wave, not once did my nostril hairs freeze! Knowing that soon I will be in tropical temperatures has helped keep me warm, even though I know I will be bitching about the heat, humidity and hairy insects crawling everywhere around me here shortly!