After my last post I had a week of work at my site and a week in the bush visiting our other centers as well. These trips are always draining for me. We have really long days, lots of driving, and seem to only encounter problems, not successes, at the centers. And after 4 days of no cell service, food I’m not necessarily a fan of and holes in the ground for a bathroom I am SO ready to get home. I must admit I have broken down a time or two and pouted like a little girl, but come on… who wouldn’t?! However, it is a great reality check for me personally and professionally. These trips always make me appreciate what I do have here and how strong our main center in Quelimane is.
I had a few days to regroup after the work trip before I headed to Maputo (the capital city) for my final Peace Corps conference: COS (Close of Service). It was a quick briefing on all the paperwork we will have to fill out and complete during our actually COS week, as well as a fair warning of what America will be like for us. 1. Man, I thought I had to fill out a lot of paperwork just to get into Peace Corps! It’s even harder to get out! But for those of you who know me all too well, I have most of my paperwork done and ready to be handed in. 2. I found it kind of funny that we had a session about “What will America be like?” Oh Peace Corps. To be honest, and maybe I’m in complete denial, but I’m not too worried about returning. I feel like I got a little taste when I went home for Christmas and I shouldn’t have too many problems readjusting. I don’t think it will actually hit me that I’ve left Mozambique for good until I land in Seattle, but I’m also just blinded by the happiness in seeing my friends and family soon that I can’t even think straight. Trust me, I am ready to come home.
The sad part about this last conference is that it was the last time my group (Moz15) will be together as a whole. I had to say some tough permanent goodbyes and some “maybe see you in the states.” I know that I will keep in touch with the close friends I made here… we have a strong bond that no one else besides other volunteers can relate to. I’m sure when I have reverse culture shock issues back home I will be calling one of them. On the other hand though, it was ok to say goodbye as I am ready to start the next chapter of my life.
After the conference I extended my time in the southern part of Mozambique to return to my favorite beach: Tofo. This time, I went with two other volunteers and again, I had an amazing time. We went horseback riding on the beach and through the neighborhoods. I did another dive where I felt more independent and comfortable with being down 18 meters. And of course, we ate some great food and met some wonderful people. And again, time flew by way too fast.
Now I’m back at site for my final 50 days. Less than 2 months! I don’t have anything too exciting planned for my last few weeks in Quelimane. Just wrapping up my work, starting to clean my house/ pack and say my goodbyes to my fabulous coworkers and the girls.
I do hope to get back to Tofo one last time before I actually leave Mozambique. I can’t express enough how much I love that place!
I hope life is treating all of you well. I miss you, but will see you SOON!