It has been awhile since I have posted an update, so here it is.
I got information on my orientation, which will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania next month. My flight and hotel room are already booked. After spending a few days learning about my expectations as a volunteer, going over safety procedures and getting the last of my vaccinations, we will be departing JFK airport for Rwanda with a layover in Brussels. It is going to be a hectic and exciting week. But until then...vacation!
My last day of work was on Friday. It was also somebody's birthday, so we had a little potluck. As always, my homemade bread got devoured. The ladies at work pitched in together to get me a case and light for the Amazon Kindle that my parents got me for my birthday. It was a bittersweet day in that I was excited to be moving on, but sad to be leaving all of my friends at work. It hasn't really hit me yet that I don't have a job right now. I feel like I will be waking up on Monday to get ready for work.
My Kindle in its case with light
I am typing this right now from the living room in my sister's house in Washington state. It was a 21 hour drive from Southern California to Northern Washington. The long drive was good conditioning for all of the long flights that I will be on in the coming month.
My favorite cities to drive through on the way up here were Portland and Seattle. They are both very clean and pretty cities. I was the driver when we came through Seattle, so no photos until we go back for a visit, but here are some photos I snapped on the way through Portland.
Washington is a beautiful state. I have seen ferns for the first time! This place is a stark contrast to the brown color of the California desert. I snapped lots of pictures during a short hike we took up a mountain near my sister's house. We even found a couple of geocaches! Photos from our hike up Big Rock - only a couple hundred yards from my sister's house - follow.
The trail head is a local secret, hidden behind a wall of foliage.
The trail makes its way up Big Rock under a thick canopy of trees. The soil is a rich brown color, the trees are covered in moss, and the ferns on the ground are shaded by the umbrella of trees that grow above.
Sometimes a fallen tree will grow a young tree within its trunk.
The upper portion of the trail took a steep grade up to the summit.
Views from the top.
From the geological survey.
Berries grow wild up here.
The pub at the end of the road - also the end of a round-about.
I stitched together a panorama at the top of Big Rock. Unfortunately, it is too big of a file to upload. [edit: the panorama can be viewed here] Hopefully the rest of these photos do the view justice enough. All of the photos are from a new camera, so I apologize if they are not the best of quality.
Washington is so green!
Washington is so grey!
Everything is better after you travel. Food taste amazing, sleep feels great, and just showering and brushing your teeth makes you feel like a brand new person!
God's creation speaks of His majesty no matter where you are.
My brother-in-law was showing off a knife to me. Like any sane person would do, I tested how sharp it was by filleting my thumb.
God's blessing overwhelmingly abound in my life. I am thankful to be able to visit my family before leaving the country for two years.