The first goodbyes
Sorry for the time lapse since the last blog. These past weeks have been busy...sad and happy. I've now had to say goodbye to some of my closer Peace Corps friends. It's bittersweet – we're all ready to go home, but our homes are spread out quite a bit and who knows when we'll actually see each other again. We have been each other's support network over the last two years...so we've formed some strong bonds and the times we've shared are unique and exceptional.
A good friend from home, Eric Longen, also recently visited – and that concludes the last expected visitor while I'm in the Peace Corps. He was working in Lima for a week – so I timed my final medical checks along with that week and then he was able to come up to where I live for a week. Below are some pictures of his visit.
My medical checks went well – I'm disease free. Although...I found out I have two herniated discs in my lower back and the doctors have said I need surgery.
Eric was here for a goodbye party thrown by other volunteers and friends in Huaraz. It was for our group up here. While he was here we were also able to see some of the mountains and he was able to check out where I live. I was also able to send a few mementos back home with him. Twas a fun time.
Having the privilege to live in Washington DC, I met a lot of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers – and they were all characters that I enjoyed being around. If you have been following my blog, then you have inevitably come across two recurring faces outside of my own – those faces would be the other members of the Anca$h tripod – Frank and Vishal.
When we received our site assignments during training, I didn't really know Vishal or Frank well. We lived in different communities, were in different programs (they are youth development), and had different language classes during training – so I didn't really get to know them. But over the two years we have gotten to know each other quite well.
Yesterday I said goodbye to Frank. The week before I said goodbye to Wes (a close friend who lived in a different department). We are able to finish Peace Corps a month before our official swear-in date. Both of them will be returning to graduate school, so they are leaving as early as possible to get ready for that next step.
I've had some practice saying goodbye in my life – I grew up in a military family and since college, I've lived in New Zealand, Washington DC, and Peru – and I've been lucky to make good friends in all those places. New Zealand and Peru, the goodbyes feel more permanent due to geography, which makes them much more sad and poignant. But…I am always happy and thankful that we were able to share the ride of life together.