Almost Didn’t Make it to Training!

Friday Morning – 6am

I arrive in Toronto on the greyhound, just a few blocks away from my hostel, but I hail a taxi anyway… I’ve brought way too much stuff with me, and I’m exhausted and sweaty.  My taxi driver is Ghanaian, and after chatting for a bit he reminds me to bring lots of bug spray.  He drops me off at the dorm, and the lady at the check-in counter helps me bring all my stuff to my room.  We’re talking in the hallway and it wakes up my roomates, Megan and Alexis (oops), but it’s probably good because there were only 2 keys anyway.  I take a shower and get ready for training in an hour… this is going to be a long day.  But how did I even get here?

12 Hours Before

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I had been busy for weeks, doing chores, running errands, making purchases, putting stuff in storage, and sorting through all of my stuff.  At the beginning of the week my place had looked like an explosion, and it was slowly starting to look like a normal apartment.  However, even the day before I left, I was still sorting through silly things like toiletries, which were strewn all over the floor!  Thankfully, I was able to throw out a whole bunch, bring some, donate some to a women’s shelter… and then left the rest at Steve’s place (what I thought I would still use when I got back).  Same with my clothes, mostly storage, some donated, some thrown out, and a tiny amount brought with me (in my opinion, but perhaps others would disagree :p)!  So I was sorting, but not done…


But it was 6pm, and we had to get in the car, and head to our fun concert!  We stopped at my mom’s place on the way to put some stuff in the storage lockers, and drop off the keys in my moms apartment.  We drove to Kanata, and got to the concert about 8 (it was supposed to start at 7:30), but thankfully it hadn’t started yet.  The starting band was supposed to be Pharell, but he cancelled last minute, so instead it was 2 guys named Nico + Vinz, who were amazing!  They had these cool dance moves and lots of drums.  They were both living in Norway, but had parents from Ghana and the Ivory Coast.  I feel like I have reminders from Ghana everywhere!  Then Bruno Mars came on, who apparently everyone thinks is sexy, but he’s not really my thing.  He put on a great show though, with tons of dancing and a crazy light show… I’m glad we went! 🙂


4 Hours Later

We left the concert at 11pm but the parking lot was a mess and we didn’t end up getting home until midnight.  My stuff was still all over the place, and there was no way it was all fitting in my backpack.  There was also no time to sort.  So instead Steve and I frantically tried to shove everything in the bags and get them shut.  In the end, we got an extra duffle bag, so I had 5 bags in total, stuffed to the breaking point!  Even then, there were a few things that didn’t fit, and a bag of winter clothes, but Steve would bring that up for me on the weekend.  I had a few panic moments when I thought we would never make the bus and the stuff would never fit, but Steve stayed calm and we made it out the door, with only 15 minutes until the last bus of the night!

I got to the bus station at 12:57, and thankfully my bus was still there!  He made me go up to the counter and pay for an extra bag, but I made it… phew!  Steve helped me carry my stuff to the bus, we had a quick goodbye hug, and then I got on the bus.  I assumed it would be empty (who takes an overnight bus to Toronto during the week?), but it was packed, and I had to shove all my stuff in the legroom and sneak in beside a random guy.  Needless to say I was stressed and exhausted, and didn’t feel much better 5 hours later when we finally arrived in Toronto.

The Week After

The next week we were kept really busy during pre-departure training, and I met lots of great new friends, who I’m planning to talk about in my upcoming posts! 🙂


About Amanda

Hi, I’m Amanda! Originally from Ottawa, Canada, I am currently living with my partner (Steve) in Sucre, Bolivia for the next year. I work in the unique space between industrial design and international development – but what does that even mean? I’m passionate about working WITH marginalized communities in a way that utilizes design to improve the lives of different types of people around the world. I have worked, studied, traveled, and researched on every continent (except Antarctica), and most recently I lived in Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal. I love exploring new cultures and learning more about myself along the way.
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