I cannot believe that the beginning of my Peace Corps Adventure is SO soon!  Counting today, May 27, I have five days left before departing for San Francisco on June 2.  This time has just flown by and I am left in the dust feeling unprepared and filled with many emotions.  It is funny...when I receive my invitation in February for Mongolia, June felt SO far away.  I kept going with my studying, practicing and researching and now it is May 27 and things are gettin' real!

I am so fortunate to have many supportive family members, friends and colleagues nudging me toward this journey.  My mom and dad have been great.  They spent the last week helping me gather all of my things to take to Mongolia and have helped me put them in two bags.  It is funny that I, Mr. Over-Packer, can condense my life for the next two years in to two bags.  Peace Corps allows two checked bags weighing 50lbs each.  Currently I have a rolling duffel bag that weighs 30lbs and a 70-liter Osprey bag that weighs 28lbs.  I am way underpacked as far as weight goes but I have a lot of clothes crammed in there.  Very proud of myself!

Last night I Skyped with a friend currently serving in Azerbaijan.  I feel so inspired after talking with her and hearing about how great her P C experience has been.  I cannot wait to have stories like that and experiences to share with all of you.

One thing I am sad about is having to leave behind the pipe organ for the next two years.  The organ has literally been the center of my life for the last four years and I worked really hard and made great progress.  One of my really "cool" moments was memorizing the 1st movement of Widor's Symphony VI in G minor.  It is a war-horse for organists and is a lot of fun to play.  I am hoping to play it one more time on the fabulous Schoenstein instrument at First Plymouth Church in Lincoln.

Saying goodbye to family and friends continues to be a struggle.  Whenever I have gone on trips before it was always "I'll see you in three months.....two weeks...one month."  Now it is "I will see you in 27 months."  This is still an odd concept for me.  27 months seems like a long time but I know it will fly by and I will be back in the states before I know it!

To all of you who have helped shape me and prepare me for this journey....a big thank you!  You have kept me going and encouraged me to do this.  You are all fantastic and I love you very much!

My next post will be from Mongolia!