Thursday, March 3, 2011

Do I Dare Breathe A Sigh Of Relief?!?!

It is officially ten days before I leave!!! It has been a long journey - starting on November 12th when I received my invitation to serve in Morocco for the Peace Corps - and I honestly wasn't sure if I'd make it. But it looks like "it" - this ellusive, theoretical, mystical and epic journey to (what may as well be) Mars in just a few short days time - actually might happen! Though my to-do list still manages to keep growing - albeit more slowly than before - the number of things I have crossed off of it boggles my mind. I am generously and humbly listing them for you below.

Note: I tell you these things not to complain about everything I had to do. Not in the LEAST. Despite being overwhelmed by it all, I am filled with tremendous gratitude and awe at the miracles it took to get me here, and wish to honor the mountain I have climbed as a testament to the commitment I have for this journey I and the love and joy I feel for it. Please read between the lines to see the emotional roller coasters that followed - both the sinking dread and the indescribable elation when an obstacle - sometimes just a very small one - was overcome. Some of the items have been condensed (I have omitted the gory details to protect your delicate sensibilities). Find below my wholly inadequate list which woefully understates the whole rigamarole! :-D

1. Interviewed four management companies
2. Selected a management company
3. Advertised apartment on various websites
4. Showed apartment to potential tenants
5. Corresponded with tenants
6. Found a perfect tenant
7. Found a perfect new home for my cat
8. Painted bedroom (with the help of five fabulous friends)
9. Hosted going away party (with 21 fabulous friends)
10. Acquired boxes and packed up all of my personal possessions
11. Rented car and drove to Michigan through an ice storm with a Ford-Focus-full of my most precious possessions (including my drugged cat)
12. Drafted power of attorney form (with a little help from The Internets)
13. Selected a person to act as my POA
14. Arranged for Verizon (with the help of the National Peace Corps Association - to waive my early termination fee for my Blackberry (which would have been $350!)
15. Listed, sold and shipped over $300 worth of my stuff on
16. Donated an entire carload of stuff to Goodwill
17. Acquired French language materials and spent many hours studing French
18. Made doctor and dentist visits and sumbitted final medical forms to Peace Corps
19. Attended a weekend Peer Counseling Training Workshop at the Whitman Walker Clinic
20. Volunteered at an Inclusive Security Conference
21. Went to DC office of Regulatory Affairs to obtain a copy of my Landlord license
22. Visited with as many people as possible (including trips to Jackson, Quantico, and NYC)
23. FINALLY finished my Turkey scrapbook
24. Filed taxes
25. Arranged my financial affairs (ok this is really items 25 through 100, but we don't need to bore you).
26. Found a place to stay post condo-move-out pre-Peace-Corps-departure
27. With the help of a faithful friend and two reluctant cabbies moved myself and the rest of my stuff (which was more than I thought (what can I say, I have rabbits - my stuff multiplied!)) across town to the home of another faithful friend and up three flights of stairs to my new temporary abode.
28. Dealt with a few move in/maintenance issues for my tenant
29. Shopped for and ordered items for Peace Corps
30. Worked full time and saved as much money as possible!!!

And yay for the members of Facebook's Peace Corps Morocco March 2011 group so I didn't have to go through all this alone!


  1. What a wonderful opportunity and a major upheaval of your life. Live Strong!

  2. Hi Larissa, any words of wisdom on how to get out of the early termination fee from Verizon? I'm trying to figure that out now. Your blog came up in a google search. I hope your service is going well!

    1. Hi Mike,

      Sorry I didn't see your message till now - I guess I missed the notification email?

      So I learned about the NPCA's initiative here at this link:

      This is indeed an agreement made between Verizon and the NPCA, but unfortunately, the customer service rep I had on the phone at Verizon didn't know about it. As she was unwilling to take my word for it, I had to have someone at NPCA contact someone in the executive office at Verizon in order to write something in my file so that when I called again to terminate my phone, the customer service rep would have the proper authorization to do so.

      But after those steps, it worked and I was released free and clear! Good luck!

      Larissa Naylor