We’ve been busy this month of May since returning from our lovely sabbatical in Ireland. We’ve been making lists, ordering supplies, packing up our things for storage in Iowa, packing up our bags for travel to Paraguay, filling out forms for Peace Corps, making travel arrangements to our staging event in Miami, hauling box after box of no-longer-needed things to MCC’s The Depot and selling other things on Craigslist and eBay (including our car!), and best of all – spending time with our family and friends who we missed seeing while in Ireland!
This month has been a whirlwind of the busy-ness of preparations and full, open-hearted enjoyment of each hour we get to spend with those we love before we depart. We’ve had BBQs and weekend reunion trips, we’ve played croquet and corn hole and Ticket To Ride, we’ve laughed and I’ve cried. Not as often because of the sadness of not seeing our beloved for 27 months (although that is a big part of it) but from the overwhelming feeling I’ve gotten at the realization that people love us. That we matter to others. That we will be missed and thought about and prayed for while we’re away. And walking away from the comfort of all that familiar joy, love, and care is difficult. But not as difficult, I imagine, as going away without all that support. So thank you for caring for us.
Here’s a glimpse at our transition into life in Paraguay:
- May 29 – Fly to Miami
- May 30 – day of orientation (called “staging”) in Miami with other future volunteers
- May 31 – Fly to Paraguay!
- June 1 – Meet the host family Isaiah and I will be living with during the 10 weeks of training in Guarambaré, a town about an hour from the capital city of Asunción. Our focus will mainly be language study (learning Spanish and the indigenous Guaraní) but also health, safety, history and culture of Paraguay, etc.
- August 10 – “Graduate” from the training program and move to our new community somewhere in Paraguay (unknown to anyone at this point) that is a good fit for our technical and language skills. This new community is where we will make roots and live for the remaining two years of our service.
- When we get to our permanent place, we will live with a host family for the first three months to help us integrate into the community and after that we will get a place to call our own.
So there’s the rundown! We’ll have internet access and will keep you updated along the way as time allows (we hear the training program is pretty intense). Email us, comment on our blog, or send us snail mail! Our address during training is:
Allison & Isaiah Goertz, PCT
Cuerpo de Paz
162 Chaco Boreal c/Mcal. Lopez
Asuncion 1580, Paraguay
Letters usually take two to three weeks to reach Paraguay; surface mail can take months. Packages and other types of correspondence are delayed much longer and may take several weeks to several months.
I feel a mix of emotions. Excitement to get this party started, sadness in leaving good friends and our families, nervousness at all the changes that are heading my way, exhaustion from thinking through all that needed to be done (and then getting it done, which wasn’t usually as hard as the thinking about it part). One thing we know is that we are lucky ducks to have such a loving a supportive community (each of you!) and we hope this blog continues to be a way to feel near while we’re far away.