Let the Count Down End!

Over the last few days I have made very strong attempts at posting a blog: the big “10 days left” or maybe “only a week left.” Alas, no count down happened except in my head (and of course the living room as I spread out all my belongs and made the best use of the 100 lbs that I was allotted). Try to recount all the things I needed to get done before day zero was adding a ball of stress the size of a golf ball under my left scapula so I decide to push this off until my bags were checked and I was waiting at Reno International Airport, the first of the four five airports I’ll be gracing over the next 42 hours. Thankfully, the US Postal Service has those flat-rate boxes that can (if the postal gods are feeling favorable) be shipped with the rest of my food that I had to leave behind (hint hint for anyone who feels generous!!)

Packing and struggling aside, I’m full of wonder as I prepare for this adventure. I have grown weary of explaining where Chad is located, what public health does in said location, and how I came upon such an odd opportunity. I’m sure they think I am crazy but oh well. I now just say I am starting a job at a hospital on Monday.

Over the last month, I have had to buckle down and make sure things are taken care of! Calling my banks and giving my clothes away! I tried to clean my room but (sorry Mom and Kara) my family will have to take care of that. I visited friends and families. I watched as two good friends became united by that holy matrimonial ceremony that I have no desire of partaking in for several, LONG years. I ate at my favorite restaurants and indulged in my favorite family recipes. I also stopped exercise to fatten up for the circumstances ahead (just in case as I may sweat it all out in the 112 F degree weather).

All these things have helped me realize what point of life I am in currently. I have my friends and family as well as an education. I need experience (and money to pay for that education) to help move up to the next step so, I ask, why not Chad? I’d rather have a horrible time, dragging myself back to the USA with only pennies in my pocket and a full blown case of malaria than have that feeling of regret. I can’t wait to see what this community has to offer and what I can learn from them. Being able to use my skills and expertise in a full time capacity is a dream come true.

All this to say, I am excited to start on this adventure! Feel free to email me at zgately@gmail.com if you have any questions, would like to know more, or even to send words of encouragement! Thank you in advance for your thoughts, prayers, emails, letters, and of course the occasional kindle book!

Love to all,

Zach

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