Thursday, May 17, 2012

Soon to Be RPCV...

It’s official. I will be a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) in 64 days!! Well, as long as everything goes well from here on out. We just had our Close of Service (COS) conference in Naivasha (pictures are up on Facebook). It was the last time my whole class will be together in Kenya. And well…we always know how to have a good time. We are like one big family and its going to be sad not being “close” to them anymore. We are all excited to see where our paths will take us next. For me…it’s TRAVELING!!!

My official COS date is July 20th. Just before then, I have to go back to Nairobi and do my final paperwork and exit interview. After that is all done, I’m an RPCV and on my own. I’ll be staying in and around Kenya until August 19th because my Kenyan roommate, Mary, is getting married and wants me to be in the wedding party. I’m SO excited because 1. Mary is one of my favorite people her and was one of the first people I met in Jilore 2. Her fiancé is amazing and a good friend of mine also and 3. I get to wear an awesome, tailored made dress of a Kenyan color pallet. Everyone just wait for the pictures. The wedding does push back my traveling schedule a bit, but it will all work out.

So, from Nairobi, a group of us are heading to Uganda to do the white water rafting and bungee jumping on the Nile. I’m debating on whether or not to go down into lower Uganda/Rwanda and do a gorilla trekking hike. It’s way expensive, but it WILL probably happen since I don’t know if I’ll ever have this chance again. Then I’ll come back into Kenya and head back to the coast. From there I’ll meet up with another couple PCVs in Zanzibar before coming back into Kenya for the wedding.

After the wedding, I’ll leave Kenya for good and go to Dar Salam, Tanzania. That is where I’ll catch the train and head to Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe. From there I’ll decide if I go to Mozambique and then down to Cape Town, South Africa or go through Botswana into Cape Town. Namibia maybe tossed in there depending if a friend is there. That puts me at around September 20th.

From Cape Town, I’ll fly into Europe. My must sees are Poland, Amsterdam, the UK. I would like to see France as well, but I don’t know if I’ll have the time. And Iceland will be for sure if a friend who lives there is around. That puts me at around Oct. 14th.

From Iceland-ish area, I’ll then finally fly back to my native soil, but not to home quite yet. The east coast is swarming with people that I want to see. I’m hoping to check out Washington D.C. and I’ll be hanging around the Boston, NY, and Maryland, etc area for at least a week. From the east coast, I’ll fly to Chicago to spend some much needed time with my family and some friends there. After a couple weeks there, I’ll finally fly home to Phoenix! Just writing this on the calendar makes me giddy. If all goes well then I’ll be home around November 6th. My coming home party will be November 10th, and EVERYONE better be there!

But before all this can happen, I have to finish up my work here and say goodbye to the family and friends I have made. I’m very pleased with my service and my work here. I’ve completely enjoyed the experience and will never forget it. And I will miss all the people here that I have grown close too. But I’m an American at heart and I miss my friends, family and home. I’m excited to see what I do next, whether that be living on my parents couch, working back at Subway, and catching up on missed TV shows and movies, or…going out and getting a job or maybe going to Grad school. Who knows!

My community is starting to plan my going away parties. I’m cleaning out my room and getting rid of everything I won’t be carrying on my back with me during my travels. And I’m enjoying my last bit of freedom here in Kenya. So let the countdown begin!!!


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