Monday, September 1, 2008

One Month Left...

Wow - what an exciting two years. Left my cush and comfortable life in America and moved to some country most people have never heard of. I spent two months doing language and cross-cultural training, then moved out to my remote village for three months, then back for another month of training on agro-forestry technologies, back to the village again, then on vacation showing my friend Sahil around Senegal, and now, here we are. Here I am. Its strange to think about all of our lives on such different trajectories. We have all moved forward - we have all had adventures. I used to sit alone in my hut thinking about my friends in New York City, D.C., Boston, and L.A. - What are they doing? Is it cold there? Man, I missed the cold sometimes. I now have only a month left and its going to be busy. I'm in production on another video, this time for creating and maintaining tree nurseries in the Sahel. I'm working with some really interesting people from Michelle Chang, a visual artist at UCLA to Baba Maal, a world famous Senegalese musician. And as excited as I am about going home, I'm really looking forward to making this movie.

So last month was pretty incredible - one of my best friends from college came out to visit. We had such a good time. We went to Goree Island to see the famous slave house and colonial architecture, we spent a few nights in a Gambian village on an desolate island, we spent some unforgettable time in my village (this was the best part of the trip for both of us I think), we went up to Saint Louis to hear live music and relax in our picture perfect apartment on the beach, we spent the night in a tent in the desert eating Moroccan couscous for dinner and riding camels in the morning, and we spent days in Dakar bargaining for masks and indulging in ice cream and falafel. What a trip.
And last Monday in Dakar, every Peace Corps volunteer from my training group met up for our Close of Service (COS) conference. Each day of the conference was based on a theme; the first day on a theme of reflection over the past two years. We mostly talked about our accomplishments and the personal and professional skills we've developed. The next day was about considering life after Peace Corps, jobs, health insurance, etc. We work-shopped our resumes and started our Description of Service (DOS) and Close of Service (COS) reports. And on the last day we gave feedback to the administration on ways to improve the effectiveness of the Peace Corps and Peace Corps volunteers in Senegal. It was nice to get to see old friends and catch up - sad to say good bye to the friends I won't see for a while. The conference gave us all a bit of closure and well, a sense that summer camp is over. One more month exactly and I fly home. Inchallah.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Yay you will be a new yorker soon!!! Can't wait to see you! Let me know if there's anything I can do for you to make the transition easier :)