It’s hard to believe that in 7 days from now, I will be in Ado Ekiti in Nigeria getting ready to work on my CSC assignment. I have a nervous excitement about it all. I am eager for the assignment to begin, to meet my fellow teammates, and to look to make a positive contribution through our project.
This week has really been about the final administrative tasks that need to be done before I leave. I dd a crappy job of following my detailed list for preparation over the last week, so instead today I managed to complete most of the pre-departure activities. Our team I think is as prepared as we can be in terms of the assignment. And on Friday I talked with a Service Corps alum and got some really good advice of things to think about and to remember not only the expertise that we have, but the expertise that is all around us in IBM. Whatever anyone’s expectations are on me, my expectations of myself are probably exponentially higher. I don’t mind though, it means that I will be thoroughly motivated to do the best job possible.
Over the next few days there will be a lot of e-mails, posts, instructions for friends and workmates, documentation sharing, and the thousand little things you do before you leave.
I guess in some way I should be nervous that I have forgotten something, but when I think back on my life and experiences, my time in Corporate Audit and spending 300 days traveling each year has also left me prepared in a way that I am surprised still serves me well over a decade later. Because I’ll be going through 2-3 climate changes over the 6 weeks I am away it is a little bit different, but many of the basics stay the same:
- Functional clothes win over unique pieces
- Layering will be my friend
- “Think from the inner layer and outwards” as a good friend and army buddy once told me (means start packing from your innermost layer of clothing and work outwards
- Once all that is done, subtract 20%
Packing is made all the more interesting because I must pack for Kilimanjaro as well. That requires and additional set of clothes and a logistical challenge. My hope is that I can fit everything into 1 bag. If not, I am prepared to bring 2 bags and pay the extra baggage charge. But my preference is to get everything in 1 bag – not just to save money, but because someone has got to carry all of that around…and that someone will be me.
Overall, I am really looking forward to the trip. Tonight is dinner with friends and will probably be the last time I see them for 6-7 weeks. Bitterweet. In thinking about the opportunities and adventures that await me, I am really looking forward to it! And I would be lying if I didn’t also say that I will be welcoming some warmer weather in my life
Looking forward to keeping you all updated. I promise to try and not over-post during the next 6 weeks. Notice I said try
Until next time.