Peace Corps Mauritania Evacuated

It’s true. Even though there were many signs that this wasn’t completely out of the cards for us, finding out on Monday August 10, 2009, that it had become official the previous day, was overwhelmingly shocking.

My experience to the end of my Peace Corps service was also quite different from the majority as I was finishing up my month long vaca in the states, and had to deal with all the implications away from anyone who really understood what I was going through. I am so thankful that one of my closest volunteer friends was also at home and therefore we were able to share some of the pain together through frequent phonecalls.

I can’t really stress what it felt like to know I would not be going back to Mauritania, to say a final real goodbye to the people who had made this past year one of the most interesting and exciting years of my life. To leave without real closure is one of the harshest things one could face, and to leave behind people, best friends, who I had told, I will see you in a month.

Aside from the whole never coming back aspect, the high hopes I had for next year that had made me value my trip home, but also make me yearn to get back to RIM, were completely dashed. One year in a completely foreign place may seem like a long time, but it was just enough time for me to come back and make me feel more expert in what I was doing there. I could now fairly proficiently speak the language. I had established good repore with the people. I had made many mistakes the first time around, and was now going to correct them this second time, and make my projects even better.

There’s nothing really positive for me that comes from leaving my service early. I’m currently hanging in limbo as to what is next. I’m struggling to complete an overwhelming amount of paperwork sent from Washington, and am trying to figure out if I should re-up for another go.

I will keep everyone posted to my final decision, but I thought it was time for an official blog post on the current situation. Hopefully in writing this post, I will also find some inner closure to all that was Peace Corps Mauritania.

I want to give so so so many thanks to all those who read this, who sent me short comments that kept me going despite many struggles I came across. Thank you to all my letter senders, and package senders. You all will never go unrecognized in my eyes, and I can’t quite put words to how appreciative I am.

Bowing out (for now)

-Amanda

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