Thursday, November 22, 2012


A couple photos from the Swearing In ceremony (in August) and one of the scorpion I found in my BED! It takes way too long to upload photos, but I'll try to post more soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Mail and care packages are a BIG DEAL in Peace Corps life.

You can send me LOVE at this address, I get all my mail at the Peace Corps office. Be sure to emphasize AFRICA, so my package doesn’t end up in Switzerland. It happens. Also, I’ve heard flat rate boxes are the way to go, and don’t claim anything valuable, I don’t want my M&Ms raided! On average, it takes about 2-4 weeks to get packages.

                Emily Ashby
                c/o Peace Corps
                P.O. Box 2797
                Mbabane H100
                Swaziland, AFRICA

-Love Letters: write me and I promise to write you back!

-GOOD COFFEE: I can buy a French press here, but you simply can’t find good coffee. Dear god, send me some fucking coffee. Please. I also like the Starbucks VIA packets and I’m almost out of the ones I brought. The mocha ones are my fave, or the regular ones (breakfast blend? I don’t remember…).

-Peanut Butter M & Ms (really, any kind of m&ms are a blessing).

-Head bands/bandanas/dry shampoo (washing your hair in a bucket kinda sucks, plus it gets hot as hell here!)

-A hat! I like the garden style ones, and it needs to be able to roll up so that I can shove it in my bag and tote it around with me. Think practical, I need something that will protect me from the sun 

-Trader Joe’s trail mix. Serious withdrawals.

-Mexican seasonings/taco seasoning packets. There’s NO Mexican food here. At all. I daydream about Casa potato burritos all the time.

-Coloring books, crayons, and markers for playtime with the kiddos.

-Magazines: Bitch, Bust, Rolling Stone, Runner’s World, and any Yoga magazine!

Also, I have a Kindle with me and I’m reading a bunch so let me know if you have any good reading recommendations!


I’m an official Peace Corps Volunteer! After rigorous training for the past 8 weeks, all 41 trainees were sworn in today. Apparently, it is rare for the entire training class to make it, usually at least a couple people decide to go home. Yay, Group 10! It feels really good to be done with training. Tomorrow, we all head out to our permanent sites where we will serve for the next 2 years. We are scattered all over the country. I’m super excited to get out there! Photos are coming soon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Final Countdown!

It's all happening! I leave cozy little Bellingham on Monday at 7am. From Bellingham I fly to Seattle, then from Seattle to Philly, where the whole group congregates for one day of Peace Corps orientation on the 26th. On the 27th, we bus from Philly to New York (JFK) at 2am, then hop on a plane to Jo-burg for a whopping 15 hour flight! From Jo-burg we then bus to sweet Swaziland, our destination and home for the next 2 years.

The last couple weeks has been a whirlwind of tying up my life in Bellingham. I had my last week at work last week, sold my truck, have been packing/prepping like crazy. I am focused on spending my time doing all the things I love this last week in Bellingham, so far: riding bikes out to Larrabe, running around Lake Padden, spending lots of time in the sun, going to all my favorite yoga classes, eating all my favorite foods, barbeque with my roomies, lovin on all my grrlfriends, spending as much time as possible in the sun, and my last hoorah! (going away party) this Saturday, are all in the lineup.

I thought I would have a final "freak out" before I leave, but so far I feel really good about everything. I'm super excited and feel pretty prepared- at least as much as you can be when you're taking a giant leap into the unknown. Letting go of Bellingham and my life here has been emotional, but mostly I'm overwhelmed by gratitude. I have so much love and support, from my grrl gang especially, and I know those connections will give me strength while I'm away.

I wanted to post contact info for everyone. My first three months in country will be spent in Pre-Service Training and I will have very limited access to phones or internet. However, after PST, I will have a better feel for what the best way to communicate is and will most likely be able to give you a better idea of my availability. So, here's the basics!

Friend me on Skype: emsa013

Email me:

Check out my blog for updates: duh, you're already here

Send me care packages!

Emily Ashby, PCV
US Peace Corps
P.O. Box 2797
Mbabane, H100
Swaziland, Africa

Be sure to write AFRICA, I've heard that sometimes the mail gets sent to Switzerland because the postal codes are similar.

That's all for now!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's all happening!!

I'm going to SWAZILAND in JUNE!!! I recently accepted my anxiously anticipated Peace Corps invitation and am thrilled with my placement! I've been devouring any and all information about Swaziland I can find and am starting to prepare for the grand journey. Stay tuned.

I'm off to great places, I'm off and away!