09 April 2010

A Cyberspace Caesura

Some last minute info about my trip (which begins tomorrow!):

Keeping in Touch

I will have very limited (if any) access to the internet for the next 2 months or so. Any chance I get though, I'll send out a quick "I'm safe and happy!" email to those of you who have given me your email. So if you haven't given me your email, please do! My email is tesskorb@gmail.com.

Otherwise, snail mail will be appreciated - my address is on the right-hand column of this page. I will respond as soon as I can :) Tip: My address will be changing, so after May 21st, hold off on sending anything until I update you.


Saturday I'll be in Philadelphia, and then Sunday I'm flying out of JFK. I have a long layover in Johannesburg, and then a short flight to Gaborone, the capital. I will be living with a host family for eight-and-a-half weeks, and then I'll be sent out to my specific site (as long as I survive training!). That's when the two years officially begins. My scheduled date to come home is June 2012 (so Kat... have your wedding at the end of June, okay?) Anytime in the middle though... I'd love some visitors haha.

Thanks for the love and support everyone! I wouldn't be able to do this without you!

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."
-Saint Augustine

Shield the Joyous

I can safely say from the start that this post has no particular purpose. But, if you're interested in the ramblings of someone about to leave home for two years, by all means, read on.

I had to get a copy of my prescriptions from the doctor's office, just in case. I spoke to them on the phone and clearly said "Teresa C Korbesmeyer" and told them my birthday. Lo and behold, they gave me my mother's prescriptions instead. However, that's going to be something I miss. I'm going to miss saying, "...But you can call me Tess." I'm going to miss seeing middle-aged people (way more motivated than I am) running down County Route 4. I'm going to miss stopping at Byrne Dairy with JT to find that there is no salt so we have to go to the 24-hour grocery store.  I'm going to miss Thai and Indian and Mexican food and barbecues and half-price appetizers at Applebees and that curry restaurant on Broadway in Soho that Andrea and I always go to.  I'm going to miss Blue Moon and Andre and forcing everyone to "cheers!" whether it's a special occasion or not.  Law & Order marathons, pointless texting conversations, hugs from my loved ones, going to the mall with Courtney to get a new shirt just for the hell of it, congregating on someone's bed the next morning to laugh about last night, pilates with Ashley, sunsets over Lake Ontario, my church, my friends who have become my family.

What the hell am I doing?  Why, exactly, did I want to join the Peace Corps? My main reason is for service - a moral value instilled even more deeply in me by going to Seton Hall. But I also have this weird obsession with going somewhere alone, unknown and unaided, in order to recreate myself and push myself and (for lack of a better phrase) find out what I'm made of. I'm sure there are many other Peace Corps volunteers looking for the same challenge, but I wonder if in my case it's just a glorified way of being too scared to deal with the life I have created for myself. Rather than stay and deal with past mistakes, the recession, messy feelings and broken relationships, a desk from 9 to 5, words left unsaid or needed-to-be-said, and just growing-up in general, it's so much easier to leave. To say, "Well, yeah, that sucked, but I'm leaving in a month," or "Who cares? I won't need to worry about that a week from now." And then if at the end of two years I have screwed things up again, well, I'll be headed back home. To start anew, once again.  So when people say they're proud of me, I feel very guilty, because I'm not really being brave at all.

Speaking of people who said they were proud of me, I went to visit Elaine today in order to say a final farewell. After weeks of "See you later!" and "Safe travels!" and "Keep in touch!", this goodbye was particularly hard. Of course goodbyes are going to be a lot harder now that I'm departing in two days, but Elaine truly is my Mom-Away-From-Mom and my Home-Away-From-Home. Always an inspiration, she left me with an absolutely beautiful prayer that I will keep close to my heart as I'm gone:

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night,
and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary,
bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted,
shield the joyous;
and all for your love's sake. Amen.

-An Order of Service for Compline, The Book of Common Prayers

My friends, may God always shield your joy.

05 April 2010


 tran-scen-dent adj.
1. Lying beyond the ordinary range of perception.
2. Being above and independent of the material universe.

"If you want my advice, write something. 
Draw something.  Tell someone something. 
Do something, anything, that will outlive this culture,
that will transcend its boundaries and touch someone."

I'm not sure who that quote is by, I stumbled upon it one day (literally, I stumbled on it).  The definitions are from dictionary.com.  The ways in which one achieves transcendence... well, that's up to each and every one of us.

Happy Easter.