To say the meeting started off interesting would be an understatement. I learned of the Norwich University Visions Abroad meeting approximately 5 minutes after it had already started. Sitting in the cafeteria minding my own business my phone began to ring, and much to my misfortune I answered to an upset Mrs. Nicole (she hates that I call her this). After being verbally chastised I calmly (hurriedly) walked (ran) upstairs into a meeting room full of people. Had I thought about it more I would have felt awkward, luckily for all involved I was more focused on escaping Mrs. Nicole and her "I specifically told you not to be late and you're late" eyes.
The meeting went pretty smoothly all together, the typical safety and operations brief. I'm Enlisted Army so by now I've learned that the briefs are meant to put the men at ease and highlight key dangers/missions. What's funny is that while this brief has nothing to do with the Army, it served the same purpose. I am about to go to Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America, to teach children English? How could I not be excited? My mind is racing a million miles a minute and while I was half way through over-thinking how I would introduce myself to my Nicaraguan host family, I finally shut my brain up and focused on the brief. The language lesson was picking up today, focusing on key phrases that we are to ultimately master. "Hola, Soy de America, Me llamo es Frank." One key thing a lot of people overlook in a trip like this is the level of preparation that goes into making a successful trip. Someone unfamiliar with the process would think that you could just snap your fingers and through the sorcery of government (As long as you pay all your bills) a passport, plane ticket, and hotel will magically appear. It's just not that simple though. Paperwork, for however trivial the word may sound, is absolutely essential for anyone planning to even leave the United States, let alone if you're attempting to enter another country as an aid worker. It's hard to keep your mind set on the paperwork when fantasizing of an exotic Nicaraguan aid mission, yet so far the rest of the team and I have gotten straight to work hammering out assignments and paperwork like we've done this before? (Some of them actually have, but for me this is a first.)
I guess that's all for now, that is until next meeting! (That I will be on time for...)