Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More Time-Biding

It turns out it's 6,509 miles from Dallas to Cotonou.

© 2006 Google Earth

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


21 days left until departure. To bide my time, I've been listening to "Wishmaster" by Nightwish on a constant loop. I honestly don't think humans will ever create a better song. For anyone in PSL-19 reading this, you'll be able to recognize me as the guy with his face rocked off.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How to Contact Me

Here's my mailing address.

Make sure to put on the envelope "AIR MAIL" and "PAR AVION".

James Rybarski, PCV
Corps de la Paix Americain
01 B.P. 971
Cotonou, Bénin

Packages can take quite a while to get to me. Please use padded envelopes (instead of a box) so that I don't have to pay a duty (which could be quite expensive given my income). Don't send anything expensive or electronic. Books are great.

Staging Kit Received

I received my Staging Kit today, which is just a bunch of papers about how to make plane reservations, what pre-stage is like, and some general information about serving in the Peace Corps. There's a pamphlet for my family that tries to convince them that I'll be fine and won't die.

The kit also contains a CD, which has what I'm guessing to be about 400 books on it, from the digging of wells to teaching an ESL class for specific vocations. Not all of them are meant for me to read, but it's still amazingly diverse.

In other news, I really need a haircut. I know, I know, it'll be a shame to tame this mane. But it's starting to get a little bit unwieldly.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The One Thing I'll Miss the Most

Snakes on a Plane comes out exactly one month after I leave for pre-stage. But, I always knew this trip couldn't come without some sacrifice.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Go see An Inconvenient Truth.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Obstacles and Pronunciation

I sent off my visa and passport applications today. It was a very confusing process, and as usual, I'm afraid that a small typo will invalidate the entire thing. But that's how it's always been with everything, and I've gotten along fine so far. In any case, I'll eventually get a nifty government business passport (or something like that).

If you're wondering how to pronounce "Benin", here's a handy explanation (courtesy of Fon is Fun):

American Pronunciation: "buh-nihn or beh-neen" (the first one is preferred by the Peace Corps staff it seems)

French Pronunciation: "luh buh-nã"

Also, this is neat.