Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm sorry for the relative wordiness of my last blog entry. I read somewhere that one way to cope with my impending departure is to blog every day. Yesterday was a long day.

I'm realizing now what it means to live in the moment. To appreciate every second of your day. And for me, that doesn't necessarily mean being outside in the sun all day, walking around and meeting people. I used to think that was what I was supposed to do. One of the last volunteers here knew almost everyone, spoke the language, was always out getting sun, meeting people. I used to feel guilty when I stayed at home. I realize now, I'm not that special. I'm not "the world's best PCV," I'm me.

My heart and my mind straddle the gap between being here and being at home. Today I was "in and out" of New Xade, Botswana. When I spend time "in" New Xade, first it's a little scary, I'm constantly wondering who I'll meet, what I'll have to say, what kind of cultural faux pas I will commit today... then it's comfortable, I remember that I've been a part of this community for years, I recognize friendly faces, people forgive me for my American obnoxiousness... then I'm reminded of why I am disenchanted by this place in the first place, as people start to ask me for my clothes, for my supplies, for my number, for me to cook them dinner; finally, I retreat back to the comfort of my home. I recollect, I connect with friends who keep me grounded, I find my smile again.

--a cycle that I have come to understand and accept more and more. I guess part of growing up is realizing your limitations. In a way, I wish I had joined the Peace Corps when I was older and more mature. I would've been able to integrate more, accept people's shortcomings, get deeper into my service... but life is what it is, and being a young PCV, I am able to handle some things better than I probably would have if I were older, i.e. the rough transport, the lack of food options, the initial absence of phone service and electricity.

I think tomorrow will be a stay at home and recollect day.


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