The first step has been taken...I have arrived in Chicago for a week of orientation with the other 49 YAGMs who will be serving this next year. We will be at the Lutheran School of Theology Chicago where we will be spending time on topics ranging from how we got here to how to work cross culturally to how to spiritually take care of ourselves in our time abroad. But there will also be lots of free time for bonding and craziness! One of the really cool things they do is have YAGM alumni come and spend this week with us, leading our small groups, but more importantly to hang out with us and share about their YAGM experiences.
After this week I will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina for a week of orientation on life in South America and specifically in Uruguay and Argentina. There are five of us that will be serving in South America this next year: me in Montevideo, Uruguay; Kari also in Montevideo with me; Lauren in Buenos Aires; Katie in Resistencia, Argentina; and Emily in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. At the end of the week me and Kari will catch our boat to Uruguay and be off to our new home!
Even though I am here, it doesn't quite feel like it is really happening. But that could be partially due to lack of sleep...me plane left Seattle at 7am this morning meaning that I got up at 4am after not going to bed until 2am...needless to say I have been a bit out of it at times today. But it is good to be here. Though I miss some things about home already, It is exciting to be hanging out with friends I haven't seen since April and to be starting out on this new adventure.
Thanks for all the prayers and support I have recieved. Please continue to pray for me and my fellow YAGMs as we spend this week preparing for our time abroad. And please pray for my family as all of us are going through big life changes (Kerry leaves Friday for her freshman year of college at Pacific University, Kristen leaves Tuesday for her senior year at PLU, meaning that my parents and our kitty Reilly will be all alone starting Tuesday night).