So I have 100 days left in T- before I have to be in Rabat, 104 until I fly away from Morocco (as in on a plane, not fleeing). And since I just got back from our week-long close of service conference and there is no food in the house except for plain yogurt and a giant city-wide shopping trip has to happen to get more of everything, I’ll just have to blog about my feeling instead of eating them.
Feeling #1 – Transitions are the worst. Change is hard. If I could somehow time travel myself forward to whenever it is I will be feeling “at home” again wherever that I, I might consider it. Goodbyes are important. Closure is important. Most of my stage (training group) I won’t see again. We all leave the country at different points between March and April, some of us are staying longer. And to top it off, unless I become fabulously wealthy at some point in the near future to be able to afford travel back to Morocco, I will probably not see my chababs or my host family or Mounia again for a very long time, if ever. That’s heartbreaking and I wish I didn’t have to say goodbye to them at all.
Feeling #2 – AMERICA IS AMAZING. I get to see my family. I get to go camping. I get to eat an inadvisable amount of any kind of food that I want and I don’t even have to cook it myself. I get to hang out with my sister!!!!
Feeling #3 – America is terrifying. Get into grad school. Find a job to support self. Answer a million questions about being in Peace Corps and Morocco and wanting to represent both things well because I feel tremendously positive about both, but also wanting to give accurate answers without helping to feed any sort of negative stereotype people may have about either, and probably I should figure out how to do that in like a one sentence answer because it’s awful to talk about something that’s important to you and then realize your listener has glazed over a minute into what you’re saying. Health insurance. Moving to a new place. Making a new community for myself. Luckily that’s one skill I’m pretty dang good at now.
Feeling #4 – Yay new things are fun! New school (to be decided), new city (to be decided), new transportation (I’m not buying a car, if I can help it), new life goals (Peace Corps rounds 2-5? yes please!).
Close of service conference is one of the few things that is common to PCVs worldwide. It’s your closure, your chance as a stage to sit down together and think about what you have accomplish, what you need to do in your last few months, and what you need to do to readjust to life in America. Out of our group of 95 that originally arrived in country, 77 of us are left, and with two years of a somewhat shared experience like we have had, it’s a sad thought that we’ll never be together as a group again. There has always been another training or something coming up, but not anymore.
This past week we did everything from learn about the final medical examinations that will happen just before we leave to choosing our dates to leave the country to sharing memories about our service. We said thank you to our PC staff that has supported us. We threw a bachelorette party for one of our girls who is getting married shortly after returning to the US. We took pictures and ate good food that is only available at big city restaurants and took multiple hot showers and tried to come to terms with everything and realized we couldn’t.
But before all that leaving and saying goodbye, I have a library to set up, camps to run, kids to hang out with. Food to buy…