Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Preparation for departure

The summer of 2012 was dominated by my impending departure for Peru. I've lived in Durango, Colorado and worked as a professor at Fort Lewis College since 1990. My life has been rich and interesting, but now...I go. Dismantling my life in Colorado was complex, exhausting and exhilarating.

I have escaped my Stuff. Some of it was gracious about our breakup, some of it fought me. But I bravely packed and sold and Threw Things Away for the entire months of June and July. I have reduced my possessions by at least half.

A few things have clung to me and will get to go to Peru to serve in the Peace Corps: some beloved shirts, two of my dance fans, a flute, a multitool...the list goes on, but not for very long, because I have to be able to CARRY everything I take with me. After owning a house and filling it with Stuff for 22 years, this feels incredibly liberating. I am light on my feet and eager for the road.

The most important thing I'm packing is a summer-full of memories. When you need people to help you move, you find out who truly loves you. I am pleased to report that I feel very beloved. I've had numerous farewell meals, blessings on my journey, long hugs. I'm so glad I got to see so many people. The last of my farewell parties is next week. I am so very embedded in community in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. I will miss turning the wheel of the year with my friends.

The counterpoint to Peace Corps was music. I produced my 2nd album this year, and released it at the end of June. Our band did two concerts to very friendly audiences and the album is selling. I'm sure every PC volunteer has a big project to finish before leaving. I'm glad I got closure on mine. I can't wait to see what kind of music I'll compose while embedded in the rhythms of Peru.

Much of my time is submerged in preparations (absentee ballot, renting the house, bottling the last batch of mead, final dental work, clearing out my office, transferring the recording business, helping my daughter prepare to go to Japan, typing the remaining handwritten scenes of my novel, making reservations, taking a Spanish placement test, and on and on) but then there are these moments of elation. I'm going to Peru. No, seriously. I'm going to PERU. There is no place on the planet I'd rather be assigned. And in Peru, I get to work in the environment sector, doing work I believe in. How often in life do you get exactly what you want?

It seems that this is my moment. I appreciate it deeply.


  1. Hello Alane ~ can't wait to meet you! We live in Salida Colorado and are going to Peru as well. I lived and worked in Durango Colorado for Carver's Bakery in 1989 and have friends who live there; beautiful place! We are in the throes of cramming two years worth of stuff in backpacks, fixing essentials up on our off-the grid home, and attending to the two million details we should have focused on in June. Enjoy your departure celebrations and "que le vaya bien"; we look forward to meeting you in two short weeks! It is comforting to think someone "just over the pass" is going through the same process and will be going to Peru ~ yahoo!