Congratulations and happy graduation! I can't believe we made it!
As most of you already know, I have joined the Peace Corps and I leave on June 30 to spend 27 months in Benin (a tiny country in West Africa next to Nigeria).
I really want to keep in touch with everyone! I plan on making at least one trip home to visit New York/ Stanford during my service, (probably next May/June) and so I hope to see many of you then!
In the meantime,
I will have very limited email access. For most of you I still only have your school address, which will soon be broken so please send me you new email address,
If you are interested in getting letters, please send me a mailing address where I can reach you for the next two years. My address is:
Corps de la Paix Americain
Afrique de l'Ouest (West Africa)
Par Avion (Airmail)
If you want to send me a package :) be sure to put everything in a ziplock bags, send it in a bubble envelope and write boring things on the customs form so that no one want to steal it.
I currently have a blog (marianainafrica.blogspot.com) and I will do my best to update it regularly, but I won't have that much internet access. I probably won't be able to do mass email updates, but I can add email addresses to my blog so that you get emailed the post when I update it, (so it's pretty much the same thing as email updates). Please let me know if you want me to add your email address to update thingie.
I don't know if I will have cell access in my village ( I might!), but I will have a cell phone for when I go to town, and will put the number up on my blog. Set up your skype accounts now so you can call me!
Everyone is welcome/ encouraged to visit me; if you've ever had the urge to live in a rural village in the middle of the Sahel for a few days, now is your chance! I am not supposed to have visitors until Jan 2009 (because they want to make sure you get settled first) but I will be there until Sep 2010 so you will have plenty of time!
If you need to reach me for some reason, the best way to get in touch with me is probably through my dad Edward Beardsworth, (firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-328-5670)
I love you all very much and I want to thank everyone for how supportive they've been as I have been preparing to go. I will miss you all very much!