Today is my last day in Senegal and the last day of my Peace Corps service. Tomorrow I will not only be in the United States of America, but I will also be a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV). Who would have thought? I'm in shock and disbelief that it's the end. I can't believe that I made it, that I enjoyed it, and what a wonderful experience Peace Corps has been.
When I was first thinking about Peace Corps and casually telling people my plans during my senior year of college people were incredulous. Close friends knew that Peace Corps was a dream and maybe that I'm not quite the princess everyone seems to think I am. I remember one conversation in particular with a similarly minded friend who thought Peace Corps was a cool idea. I vividly remember standing in my kitchen on Oakland and we both had red solo cups in our hands. The friend asked me if I thought I could do it and I replied "yes, I think I can." Peace Corps is completely mind over matter, or at least it was for me. PST was absolute hell, but as I built a community of Peace Corps friends, work partners, and my Senegalese family everything else became bearable.
Now, two years have passed. There is no conflict of feelings. I want to come home, back to the United States, more than anything. Senegal was great, but this experience is over. At the same time it's unbelievably sad to say goodbye. It's difficult to move on from a life that I built completely by myself and one where I may never see the people who have meant so much to me ever again.
If you're thinking about doing Peace Corps, DO IT! It's amazing and you'll never regret it although, you will hate yourself at times for making such a ridiculous decision.
Thank you again to everyone who has read my blog and sent me letters. Thank you to my family and friends for being an amazing support network. Thank you to all of my Peace Corps friends; you guys are amazing and I can't even imagine what it's going to be like to say goodbye to you tonight.
That's it from Senegal. Katherine and I will be boarding a plane back to the motherland tonight! Ready or not here we come!
Until next time, Senegal.
Babenen yoon, Senegal.
2 years ago