Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Close of Service

Last week we had our COS (Close of Service) Conference in St. Lucia. It is hard to believe that this journey is almost finished.  I do not really know where the last two years went.  Again, they have been a whirlwind.
Mentally, I was not at COS at all.  I am not ready to pack up and go back. I refrain from saying ‘home’ because where is home now a days anyways?  For the last two years it was a small village in the heart of the valley on a tiny island, for the five and a half years prior to that it was in West Philadelphia.  And who knows where I will land once I embark on my next journey, whatever that may be? 
The notion that this journey will end in just 2.5 months brings a lot of thoughts to mind.  First and foremost, I am not ready to leave.  I still have too much I want to do here.  There are projects that will not be wrapped up by then. There are things I still haven’t done or seen.  2.5 months is not enough time to wrap up everything and leave feeling fulfilled.  Leaving will be abrupt, and I will always feel like I have unfinished business. Even though my Peace Corps assignment has been quite challenging, personally, I want to see it thru to the end. For these reasons, and others, I have decided to extend my service.
However, most of my fellow PCVs are ready to get the F out. This Peace Corps life can take a toll and most are ready to get back, make some money, and leave this life behind. That’s not to say that important life lessons and perspectives will be left behind. As Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), some things will never leave us.
The week focused on discussing our accomplishments and preparing for post Peace Corps life-resumes, job resources, grad school, and readjusting to life back in the USA.  We spent a lot of time in circles talking about feelings, sharing experiences and documenting our numerous achievements, feats, and even some defeats.
I made it!
My take away from COS was that I need to start getting focused about post Peace Corps job hunting.  I sure will be happy to use the left side of my brain again! And that I need to start wrapping things up because time flies by and my extension will be finished sooner than I realize.
Below is my tentative PC/SVG Bucket List:
·     Travel the Grenadines
·     Attend Barroualie Fish Fest
·  Hike the Vermont Nature Trail when there is NOT a tropical storm      approaching
·     Go fishing in the river for lobsters
·     Go Sailing
·     Go to the Falls of Balliene
·     Hike to Trinity Falls
·     Lay on the white sands of Buccament Bay Resort
·        Eat as many local fruits/veggies as possible

·     etc.

Oh and this happened at COS:

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