Saturday, June 19, 2010

The time has come.

A year and a half after filling out my Peace Corps application the time for me to leave has finally come.

My luggage isn't even fully packed and this experience has already been completely different from all of my past travels. In late January '09 after I turned in my application and completed my interview I received a phone call telling me that I had been accepted and they were placing me in the Caribbean and would be leaving in February '10 . Ten months later in November I received another call telling me that unfortunately I would no longer be going to the Caribbean because the program was full. Instead in June '10 I would be heading to west Africa. At first I was extremely disappointed because for almost a full year I had it in my mind that I would be going to the Caribbean, and I mean come on who wouldn't want to live there for 27 months!

The plus side of moving my departure date back 5 months was that I had the opportunity to move back to Paris!! :) Paris was a perfect little vacation before leaving for one of the poorest countries in the world for 2+ years, and the language refresher was incredibly helpful.

I've just spent that last 3 weeks back home in Illinois tying up loose ends and enjoying as much American beer, baseball, buffalo wings and BLACKHAWKS HOCKEY as I can!!

Tomorrow morning I catch my first flight, I'm off to Philadelphia for Staging. This is where I will meet fellow volunteers who will train with me in Burkina along with meetings on what we should expect, whats expected of us, and of course more vaccinations.

The volunteers I am to meet in Philly will be with me for our first 3 months of training. The training will take place in Ouahigouya
(Why-ee-gou-ya), a regional capital about one hundred and eighty kilometers (around 112 miles) north of Ouagadougou, the capital. During this training I will live with a host family in Ouahigouya, this is where I will meet my Burkinabé (bər-KEE--bay) “home-stay” family who I will live with for most of the training. I will have my own room in their house/courtyard, and will be considered a member of their family. During this training period, my family will serve as language and cultural informants, helping me really get a feel for all aspects of the country.

If you'd like to learn more about Burkina Faso, or even just find it on a map (don't worry I had to look it up too when they told me where I was going) check out this website:

Welp, I really should get to packing! I hope you guys enjoy reading my blog. I'm not to sure how often I will have internet or how consistent I will be on updating this but I will of course try my best!

Please e-mail me (, write me, skype me (kristin.chantry), facebook me, or even send me presents. ;) Any way you find easiest to stay in touch! Your correspondence would mean the world to me!


  1. Kristin you're going to have the most amazing time, enjoy yourself and the crazy path ahead of you. Much love!

  2. Have a wonderful adventure! We will keep you in our thoughts! Have an amazing time and be safe. Let us know an address where we can send presents. i would send BW3 and Old Style but I don't think they would make it!

    Jill, Patrick, Logan and PJ

  3. Have a safe flight to Africa. We are so proud of you for following your dreams. Keep the blog going when possible so we can keep up with your adventures.
    Love you....Mom