July 18, 2013

the end

I am watching the evening sun cast its warm glow over the mountains behind my home as I type this. I've come to this bar every day this week to watch it happen. I'm watching it because I know how much I will miss it when I leave in two days.
I wrote this small passage in a draft entry that I never published, back before I left my home in Masasi in December. I have waited a long time to finish it, hoping to have some sort of golden nugget to share with the world that summed up my 3 years in one glorious narrative. But here I am, 7 months removed. The computer monitor sitting on my desk has scarcely seen the images and text of this blog.

I've come to the conclusion that there is no need for closure, or for finality. While the adventure has long been over, a new one is starting. This may be the last entry on this blog, but it could also be considered the seminal posting for another. Just as I began preparations for my Peace Corps service back in 2009, I am beginning again with the JET Program, readying myself to live in Japan. All the feelings that flooded my veins before my new life in Tanzania are coursing through me again -- anxiety about what to pack, unsure of the little details; vision for what I want my life to look like, but filled with bewilderment by what the future holds. It is foreign but strangely familiar all at the same time.

For those considering the Peace Corps, I won't sum up what I think in this short paragraph. Instead, I invite you to read what I have already written. As the saying goes, "it's not about the destination, but the journey to it," and the beauty of keeping a blog is the ability to write about the journey as it happens. I am so thankful to have done it, because now that I've arrived at the destination, I can't imagine trying to recall the uncountable small things that made the journey so wonderful.

Thank you all for reading along, as well as for your prayers and support while I was overseas. I hope this journal of personal reflection allowed you (and continues to allow others) to experience just a tiny fraction of the joy, anguish, love, and heartbreak that shaped me during the life-changing events which are chronicled here.

December 22, 2012

earning my 'R'

It was recently brought to my attention that I haven't made my "farewell" post yet. For those not in the loop, November was my last month at work, and December 19th was my COS date. So yeah, I'm done. Despite having internet access the whole week before then, I neglected to write anything here. Leave it to me to wait until I'm in the airport getting ready to leave, dead-tired because it's nearly 1 in the morning.

The past 3 years have changed my life. Deeply. So deeply, in fact, that I can't bring myself to write about it. Maybe after Christmas, when I'm home and I'm caught up on sleep. You'd think 2 days in a 5-star beach resort in Dubai would revitalize you, but I was there on Friday night. December 21st. Which was notoriously marked as an "End of the World!!!" date. So yeah, I went out to an "End of the World!!!" party. Was it worth the 120 AED (about $32 USD) I spent on 3 beers? Probably not. But who stays in their hotel room on a Friday night in Dubai? Nobody does that.

November 30, 2012

posts from the past: reclaiming joy

I've been going through my backlog in recent weeks, and thought you guys might enjoy rereading -- or maybe reading for the first time if you're a newbie -- posts from earlier in my service. One of my favorites is reclaiming joy, because it has great pictures and references some shadowers we had in Singida -- most of whom have just COS'd! My how time flies!