How to Contact Me

Life on the central plains can get awfully lonely at times, so feel free to drop me a line! Here's how:

D'Abravanel, Jed
B.P. 6



Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shaking Up A Storm

As the last post demonstrates, I'm getting a little nervy - and with two days left 'till take off I'll share a secret with you: those nerves are not going anywhere. On the plus side though they make it really very easy to operate on 10 to 15 minutes of sleep a night.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Times They Are a Changing...

Well, I could not back out now even if I wanted - which I do not - why? Because I have had my official, family sponsored, societally mandated, going away party. How was this going away party? Simply put, illuminating - it was a wonderful, warm environment - the memory of which will be prominently featured in the mosaic of my life.

Fundamentally this party wiped the film from my eyes and helped shatter any illusions I may have had regarding the enormity of the journey I'm undertaking. The self is identified primarily as it is opposed to the other, so is the individual defined and so is the culture defined. But in joining the Peace Corps I am placing myself in a situation which is the essential negation, the anti-matter, of me. This journey serves as anti-matter, in that by journeying to a culture such as that of Morocco I am leaving behind those with whom I have a shared identity - an identity which is as ephemeral as the wind without the anchors that family and friends provide. Each anchor serving to hold in place a different, interlocking, puzzle piece that collectively define who I am.

This loss of self is what scares me most.

I know that Morocco will serve to widen my definition of self. It will test me and stretch me, I will have many less anchors to rely upon, and will have to cement myself in new ways to a new reality. A new reality that will in many ways turn the reality and the culture I am leaving behind into the other. But, I know that by journeying into the other - transforming my current reality into a shadow - I will eventually shrink the "other" and grow what I think of as myself.

Or more simply put - I'll grow. Maybe even up.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Start...

Todays the day the final piece of the Peace Corps puzzle fell into place: I received my staging packet. For those of you who don't know, the staging packet is the last communication with the Peace Corps one has before physically traveling to a location to begin training. In my case i'll be flying out of San Francisco and into Philadelphia on Friday, February 29th. I'll then be in Philadelphia for about two and a half days, during which time i'll receive the last of the immunizations I need for Morocco while the Peace Corps processes various forms that allow me to not be thrown into debtors prison, along with a basic introduction to, and overview of, training.

Then it's off to JFK and a thrilling flight across the Atlantic to Morocco, where I will emerge eight hours later into the fabled sun of Casablanca. From this fabled sun I will quickly be ushered into a bus to take me to the capital of Morocco, Rabat, from where I will depart with four or five other volunteers to do 11 weeks of technical, language and culture training in a small Moroccan village. After that training I get placed in a village and the Peace Corps really begins.

SO to summarize:
February 29th: Depart SFO, arrive Philadelphia
March 1st-3rd: Introduction to the Peace Corps, Paperwork and Shots
March 3rd: Depart JFK
March 4th: Arrive Casablanca
March 4th- May 21st: In country training
May 21st - May 31st, 2010: Peace Corps