…and I might be a nerd. That’s ok.
I was watching Harry Potter 1 today, and I realized that I feel about the same as Harry did when he headed off to Hogwarts. Why?
1. Technically I still have no idea what I’m getting myself into, and neither did Harry. I know the basics, but there’s no way to know exactly what life as a Peace Corps Volunteer will be like. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with embracing the unknown. But it’s a little scary too.
2. I still need to figure out platform 9 3/4. I have never flown on a flight longer than three hours, and my only flight abroad was to Mexico. Travel to Mexico is fairly easy, and I knew the language. I didn’t need a visa, and I was traveling across the Gulf with people I knew. My Peace Corps flight probably won’t go as smoothly, and is much longer. About 18 hours total. I will be traveling through various timezones-I, who has never experienced jet lag. I really do feel like Harry running blindly at a brick wall. I also know that somehow it will all work out and I will make it through to South Africa unscathed. And meet a few new friends along the way.
3. I will be leaving some comforts of home to embrace a new world. Harry Potter left behind a relatively modern (cerca 1990s) life to enter into a world stuck in the past. No computers, no internet, no television, etc. While South Africa is fairly modern, the village where I will live will not be the same as the USA. I may not have electricity, probably won’t have running water, but will likely have internet access. Some of the basic ways I live my life will change. Realizing this now will help me accept this in the future, I hope.
4. Much like Harry when he got on the Hogwarts Express, I will be leaving behind (not abandoning though!) relationships with friends and family. I must create a new social network in South Africa, as Harry did with his fellow classmates at Hogwarts. Luckily, I’ve got a good support system at home to help me through the hard times, unlike Harry Potter.
So, for those of you who don’t know Harry Potter, you might be confused. Read the books, please. And for my fellow Harry Potter nerds, please send me an owl in South Africa. My address is on the tab marked “Mailing info.” Thanks!!