It is hard to believe that I will be in Mali in four short days!  One thing I know for sure – time flies – which should be of comfort to all of my friends and family members that keep saying “two years is such a long time!”  It seems like just a few months ago (but was actually nearly a year ago) that I sent off my application to begin this journey, and now my departure is just days away.  I am full of all kinds of emotion and can’t wait until I’m able to share my first impression of Mali with you all.

I had a fantastic send-off weekend in Baltimore with a group of very close friends from my Elon University days.  There is nothing better than getting together with friends, sharing good food and drink and making memories.  I’m looking forward to developing similar bonds with my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) throughout the next two-and-some-change years.

Before my flight back to Kentucky this morning, I read a post from one of my favorite blogs, Hip Tranquil Chick (see blog roll, too) that included a fabulous quote!

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”

This quote comes from North African-born, Saint Augustine, who from this description seems like a solid Catholic character/philosophical wiz. Ultimately, I’m hoping that this adventure will enable me to digest a few more pages of the World’s book by taking in the culture, language and lifestyle of the people of Mali and exploring other African nations.

I’ll probably post at least once more before I hit the ground in Bamako.  Until then…