Sunday, May 10, 2009

Countdown: 21 days til liftoff

It's Mother's Day and we're lazing around the house after a delicious pancake and waffle and French (Freedom) toast breakfast at our local diner.

As YouTube agonizes over the uploading of a 1.45 minute video I made with my new camera, I begin the blog process for our trip, coming up with this name.

"Remember," Dave interrupts. "It has to be family friendly. If Lizzie's going to write on it."

Yeah. I remember.

With 3 weeks to go until we head halfway around the world, I'm a bundle of nerves and excitement. Put the emphasis on nerves, though.

"Are you ready?" Everyone wants to know.

No, I'm not ready. I'm not sure I'll have all the proper documentation. I'm a little freaked out by the lack of communication with my counterparts at the University of the Philippines. So far, this how it plays out: I send them emails asking questions about the two classes I'll be teaching and they don't send any emails back; I send Lizzie's potential school an email asking for a little clarification regarding the documentation we need to bring with us and they send no emails back; I email the woman running the exchange program to tell her when we'll be arriving and to ask about our pick up (at midnight on June 2) after over 18 hours of travel and I get no emails back.

I'm a little freaked out by some of the remarks Cynch, the exchange professor from the U of the Philippines who's finishing a semester at my college this week, has made in passing. "There's a great Japanese restaurant across the street from where you'll be staying. But you won't be able to cross the street. It's too dangerous." And "Oh? You like the beach. Well, let's see if we can get you there without getting you kidnapped."

I'm a little freaked out by the knowledge that I'll have to let go of some of my overpreparedness (I'm the kind of professor who likes to plan out her course schedule by the minute ahead of time); the students won't have books, I'm told.

Yesterday, Lizzie complained when I told her she had to take a shower before she went out for dinner with a friend and his family. "It's nice to look good," I said. "And with that flu running around the world, personal hygiene is key. If one of us gets the flu," and there are two confirmed cases at my college already, "then we're grounded. We're not going to the Philippines."

I'm mostly freaked out by the size of the world, and the multiplicity of languages it speaks, and the potential for disconnection and miscommunication. I'm freaked out by the passage of time, and by our human fragility.

1 comment:

  1. "Kidnapped"? She's got to be kidding. I'm glad this post is a couple weeks old and there's been e-mail action since, so that we can both feel better. Not that it matters how I feel. (I make posts all about me. It's terrible.)