A week until I report for staging. A year ago, as I worked through my application I had no idea that volunteering with the Peace Corps would become my only plan for after graduation. That I would determine it to be the ultimate opportunity, a chance to combine my personal and professional interests. Now I have one week until I leave for Uganda.

The past few months have been chock-full of telling people the few details (emphasis on few) I know of what I am getting myself into, asking anyone with experience living internationally about her/his time abroad, and tracking down PCVs (Peace Corps Volunteers) and RPCVs (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) to hear about their experiences. I have also spent the past few months seeing friends and spending lots of time at home with my family. All of this has given me a solid foundation. There is no doubt in my mind that being a PCV in Uganda is the challenge and opportunity I want.

I am ready. Okay, no. I am not packed. (What kind of procrastinator would I be if I were all packed?) But I am mentally ready and looking forward to next week and the next two-ish years. I am looking forward to embracing each challenge, especially to struggling through some; to finding out if my interest in languages is matched with an ability to learn; to meeting all sorts of new people and being exposed to different perspectives; to the heart-breaking, gut-wrenching defeats and the brain-blurring, life-inspiring triumphs; to the awkward encounters (and their hopefully positive resolution); to learning more about myself; and to growing into the person I will become.