Well, I’m not quite there yet, but my days in the United States are certainly numbered…

I’m assuming that you are reading this blog because you know that I am heading off to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali starting July 1, 2010.  If you don’t know me, and didn’t know this fact, but the magic of the Internet has brought you to this blog, nice to meet you…feel free to introduce yourself in the comments section.

To all of you, thank you for following my (first and only) blog!  I hope that this space will feature many stories, photos and one-liners to entertain you during the work day, or while enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or beverage of your choice in the evening.  And maybe it will even motivate you to come visit me or sign-up for the Peace Corps yourself.  Please leave comments, as I’d prefer this not be a one-way conversation.

I’m certainly preparing myself for the adventure of a lifetime.  Today I purchased a backpack with all of the bells and whistles, a mosquito net, some practical sturdy sandals, a Leatherman, and a handy, light-weight rain jacket since I’ll be arriving during the rainy season.  The “to-buy” list is quite long still, but I’m taking it a day at a time.

Yesterday I read through some of the final materials sent by the Peace Corps staff that provided additional information regarding the first three-six months of my time in Mali.  It looks like I’ll be very busy soaking up information about the culture, language and business practices of my host country.  Look here for more on all of the above. 

During the first nine weeks, I’ll be staying with a host family and adjusting to life in Mali.  I’ll post pictures as soon as possible, so you all can see where I’m staying and learn more about what is filling my days and who I’m spending them with.

I have to include a shameless plug — if you would like to send me a little note or a package (as some of you have indicated you will…thanks in advance!) you can send it to the address below:

Beth Roberts, PCV
Peace Corps
B.P. 85 Bamako

I’m sure that any and all mail will brighten my day.

So the countdown is on — 10 days until staging in Philadelphia and 12 days until my feet are on Mali soil, or shall I say Mali sand.

I’m off to sort through some of my DC boxes and to start thinking about packing for the next two years.  Wish me luck!