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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Where the Sidewalk Ends

The end has come and gone...and it's weird.

I'm now officially an RPCV, a 'Returned Peace Corps Volunteer'.

Most of the time I don't even realize it, it hasn't really hit me yet. I don't know that it will until I'm further away from Uganda.

The last week, the week of my close of service (COS) was hectic to say the least. The same week Peace Corps Uganda held its All-Volunteer Conference, so of course things were crazy and unorganized. Most of the days I was in the office there was only a handful of staff to help out with the COS process. Luckily we have some good staff on hand and everything was taken care of in a relatively timely manner. Also luckily, I got my three stool samples in to the medical office in time...if not I would have had to delay my COS.

The same week there were many volunteers passing through to go to the conference and then later in the week returning through Kampala to go back to their sites. It was overwhelming saying goodbye to so many people, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm glad I got to see all my good friends that I'm leaving behind, especially the ones from my group who decided to extend. I really am proud of those who chose to extend and think they are doing a noble thing giving up another year for Uganda.

The week in Kampala was full of good food, mostly South Asian dishes.

I finally got to ring the gong signaling my official closing of service.

I still haven't cried like many volunteers have. I miss my friends and I miss the Ugandans I became friends with. I know eventually it will sink in because I know Uganda will always be a part of me now. There is never going to be a point in my life when I don't think back to my days in Rakai or my time roaming around Uganda trying to help or do something meaningful.

Thank you, Uganda...for all the ups and downs you have made my stronger and I owe you that.

As much as people may doubt it, Peace Corpa really was worth it to me.


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