Today marks the beginning of my journey (although I am still in the States). We (the new Peace Crops trainees) met today-there are about 35 volunteers in all. Everyone seems very nice and we are all so excited about setting off tomorrow evening. The staging staff said we were a very chatty group-I guess those icebreakers are working. In the morning we are all getting yellow fever shots before taking a bus to Newark. Then we will be flying pretty much straight until Thursday afternoon when we will happily arrive in Banjul and meet the Peace Corps staff there. It is so exciting, all this mystery about what we're going to see and what's going to happen next. Also, it's going to be about 90 degrees F when we get there-a stark contrast to this cold Philly weather. I am so ready for some sunshine! Tonight is all about last good (or at least American) meals, last showers, last phone calls, but it's hard to be sad when there's so much excitment in the air. I'm sure the homesickness will come later, but right now I think we are all just ready for it to be tomorrow (except for the yellow fever shot, of course). It is just so nice to be around people who have gone through the same application process, and know what it feels like to be waiting for your fate. The staging staff has so many positive things to say about The Gambian people, and west Africa in general...it's going to be amazing. But for now, I am going to take my last hot shower and rearrange my bags one more time (weighed in 1 lb below the limit this morning, what a relief) and then sleep as much as I can before I have to get back on a plane. I miss everyone already and I can't wait to hear from you!! Take care and I love you all!