II. The Final Countdown

final_countdownThe final countdown has indeed began. It’s hard to believe that in one week I’ll be beginning a 27 month endeavor 8,500 miles away from the only home I’ve ever known. It feels like just yesterday when I was sitting in the Peace Corps’ office on Monroe St., interviewing and beginning a 9 month process of background checks, medical tests, immunizations, and loads of research into a culture I knew very little about.

The last month has been filled with joyous gatherings of family, friends, and colleagues. As we bid our farewells, I am overwhelmed with the amount of support and gratitude expressed by everyone. My mother and grandparents hosted a going-away party at the Vernon Hills Golf Course which was fantastic. Seeing folks from all walks of my life come together for a proper sendoff was great. Here are the pictures. The St. Mary of Vernon Men’s Club gave a very sincere toast at the annual Mickey Finn’s meeting. I also worked my final day at Maine West yesterday and while the exit was bittersweet, I appreciate all the words of encouragement from staff and faculty. It was a memorable 2 years of employment there and I most certainly gained valuable experience that I will be able to apply in the future. I wish them all the best with the realization of the 21st century classroom becoming a reality in the following years.

So what’s next?
The unique anticipation for chartering into the deep unknown is a feeling of which I’ve never experienced. I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead while having the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of such a proud culture. On Wednesday June 5th, I’ll be taking a flight from O’Hare to Philadelphia for a quick orientation. Can’t wait to meet my fellow volunteers of whom I’ve been in contact with on Facebook since March. At 2:30AM we’ll be taking  a bus JFK where we will board a 15 hour flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. Finally from there we’ll be taking a pond jumper to the capital city Maseru, Lesotho and begin the 2 month pre-service training (PST). The training encompasses language, cultural, and job specific skills. During this time I’ll be living with a host family to help assist with integrating into the culture.

Stay tuned for updates from the beautiful Kingdom of Lesotho!




  1. Peace and blessings to you, my friend. Only good things are wished for you on this wonderful journey!

  2. Travis,you will be very missed. I am so impressed by your wanting to help others. Travel safe, enjoy what you can. Write often. Learn all you can. This is an amazing life experience.

  3. I am looking forward to your blogs. I am so proud of you as you set forth the goal of making a difference in this world. Keep in touch so we all know you are safe and healthy. XO

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