When all the packing is done, and all the “goodbyes” are said, there’s nothing left but to begin the journey! For those who were wondering – yes, I did get it all packed! I probably took too much and probably will be missing something crucial, but its done! I left home at 6 this morning, hauling my 47 pound rolling duffel (WAY too heavy!) down the street while carrying my computer/backpack on my back! (While I plan to “lighten up” on my way back, I’m already looking for a volunteer who will meet me at PDX when I return in May!)
I wanted to look out the windows of the MAX train and say “goodbye” to Portland, but it was dark, and it was raining, so I pulled out my book and let the train move me another step closer to my destination. My “usual” airport breakfast spot is Gustav’s, and today was no exception. I feel drawn to my last touches of the “familiar,” while anticipating the draw of the “unknown.”
Tonight, I’ll be in Washington, D.C., meeting my fellow EA (George) and tomorrow we will begin meeting people from Church World Services (CWS) and learning more about the work we will be doing for the next three months. There, too, I will meet with representatives from my local congressman and senators’ offices.
And ultimately we will learn where we will be placed once we arrive in the Holy Land. I am told that most EAs have this information several weeks before leaving home but, for some reason, George and I are still “in the dark” as to our assigned work places! EAPPI has seven placements, three in cities (Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron) and four in rural villages and, while the work is similar in all locations, the specifics are different as they are tailored to the needs of the community. In any event, at this point only God (and maybe the EAPPI office in Jerusalem!) knows where I’ll be sent.
For now, there’s an airplane waiting and a journey that has already begun…