One-hundred twenty-two. That's the number of malaria pills that my doctor prescribed for me today. It's also the number of days that I will be spending in Cambodia.
You could say my world has been turned a bit upside down in the past couple weeks. No more than 14 days ago, I was (somewhat) happily living life in Columbus. Still working for good ol' Starbucks, I managed to pick up a freelance job with Bowtie, Inc. (I just couldn't get enough small animals and birds in California). My boyfriend and I celebrated 9 months together. I had hopes of getting a full-time position with a company here in town, on the verge of moving out of the house. I was getting back into running and biking and rollerblading. Things were pretty rosy.
Then, I was still waiting on that full-time position. Things with the boyfriend fell through. And I was still living with my parents working at Starbucks. Things seemingly were falling apart... for all of 3 days. Then I got a letter from an old college professor that read somewhat like this (I'll give you the abridged version):
"There's a job for you at the University of Cambodia. You'll being doing stuff for 4 months that's real vague and unclear. But I'll buy your plane ticket, find you a place to live and give you a monthly stipend. The catch... you need to be there by the end of the month. Let me know ASAP. Peace."
Whoa! Like a frying pan over the head, that came out of nowhere. But did I have to think about it? Not really.
Yes, I consulted my parents who told me to do it because 'what did I have to lose?' (Even bigger frying pan.) Of course I couldn't keep this kind of decision to myself, and I got everyone else's opinions on the matter... friends, co-workers, you name it. In the end, all signs pointed far east.
So in three weeks and counting, I will be hopping on board a plane on what probably will be the biggest adventure of my life. I'm going live alone in a country where I don't speak the language, know absolutely no one and will physically stick out like a sore thumb (excuse the cliche). The hot humid weather will make my hair a gigantic frizz ball and the food will keeping me running to the nearest bathroom (at least for the first month, I hear). But at least I won't get malaria. (The pills...122.)