Sunday, June 10, 2007

The party's over...

Well..... I've finished. I have checked out of village, said my goodbyes, and by next Friday I will no longer be an official Peace Corps Volunteer. How do I feel...?? all mixed emotions, as you may imagine. Obviously I'm thrilled that I'll be rejoining my family and friends and old life again... but the departure from village was way sadder than I was imagining it would be. Let me backtrack ...

In summary, since my last posting..... I finished up school, I turned 28 years old, I ate more hippo (there were more attacks), I got sick one last time, I packed my bags, I gave all my stuff in my house away, and I had many small goodbye parties in village. My goodbye parties were fun.... I was invited to a few peoples' houses on different nights for dinner. Had stuffed pigeons and lots of chicken. My big goodbye party at school was this past Tuesday from about 4 pm to 2 am. First we had a goodbye ceremony, during which there were speeches and gifts presented. Then a big meal with all the invited guests, lots of pictures with the guests and my students, and finally a big dance at night at the school. It was fun because it gave me a chance to just be relaxed and have fun with my students instead of playing the disciplinarian role (which I hate). I had fun giving away stuff from my house to people I chose. If you start randomly asking who wants what, the harassment will never end and people will never stop showing up at your door. But I subtley invited people over and gave them stuff I thought they'd appreciate, one by one. When I said goodbye to my 14 year old best friend (sweetest girl ever, with the cutest family ever), she cried for about a half hour. My neighbor also began crying when I hugged her goodbye... they both made it really sad and hard for me to keep on saying goodbye. A couple of people.... villagers who I know are very poor, gave me money "to buy water" during my trip... 1000 francs each, which is about $2 each. One person gave me 200 francs, about $0.40. People were just so giving and it was really touching how sad people were saying goodbye to me.

It's difficult to put into perspective what you are gaining from this experience when you are one year into it or even 18 months into it...because a lot of the time you are uncomfortable or homesick or sad or bored or HOT or whatever... but when I was leaving village I realized that I didn't dislike where I was every minute of my two years. Sure there are ups and downs and times when you wish there was a coup d'etat... but the contact I had with the friends I made was worth the last two years. What you learn about yourself and what you can support, plus to live in a place that is almost like a fantasy world time warped from the past... it's not something you can get in America. So all in all... I'm glad I did it. Not the easiest two years of my life, but certainly the most adventurous and character-building time of my life thus far.

I will be home by June 26th. I'm travelling to Morocco soon to spend one week there, and then I'll be one my way home! I can't wait to see everyone and get all the hugs I've missed out on!!! See you very, very soon!!!!!!!


At June 11, 2007 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awe honey... i'm sad that you were sad to leave, despite the many times i'd practically beg for you to come home. you're not an easy friend to say good bye to....apparently even when your sweaty and smelly and sicker than a dog.

we love ya! glad to have you coming home soon!!!


At June 12, 2007 10:00 PM, Anonymous sujin said...

June 26th?!!!!!! I thought you weren't coming home until after July 4th!!!!!! I can't wait to see you!

At December 23, 2009 11:36 AM, Blogger bathmate said...

It looks so good in the post.
Many thanks for your nice posting, I like it.


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