Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Last Blog Post

Over the last three years, we have taken a journey together.

It started In the beginning [link], will end with this last blog post, but oh! there is so much in-between.

I wish I could sum up the best things about my service in just a few sentences, but alas. I cannot. There is so much I want to say about being a PCV, but I have to believe that it has already been written within these pages.

For anyone out there who stumbles upon this blog, I hope the information contained here will help you decide if Peace Corps is right for you (see Frequently Asked Questions [link], the PC Experience [link], PC Life [link] or PC Process [link]. I hope the stories, anecdotes, and soap-box rantings give you some sense of what it means to serve in such a distinguished institution. I have loved at least 78% of every minute of being a PCV. It is hard to imagine the rest of my life as an RPCV, but I know I can do it. Besides, I really don't have a choice. They delete my email from the group listserv this week.

For all those inquisitive folks out there who may be wondering what I will be doing with the rest of my life, I hope to post tiny (one liner) updates from time-to-time. These won't be regular, but I hope to show the impact Peace Corps has had on my life (at least for the next year).

Anyway, before I succumb to the tears threatening to fall any minute now, I just want to say:

Hörmətcilər (Azərbaycanlılar),

Sizinlə xidmət etməyə imkan üçün ən lap daha çox sağ olun. Mənim xidmətim lap əla (zorsa) idi. İndi ən yaxşı Azərbaycanlı dostlarm almışam və sizə görə mənim sevgi gücüm çoxalır. Sağ olun demirəm. Helelik deyirəm.

Oh yeah. And I am not on Facebook. You are going to have to email me [link] if you want to say hi.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I am still working?

Awhile ago, I wrote a post about "checking out" [link]. I find that each PCV goes through a slightly different, yet similar, checking out process. Work slows down and then ends completely. Good-byes are said and last meals shared. Weird handshake-hug-kisses are given and everybody starts crying.

For me, I promised to stop by (Zaqatala) for a few days on my way out of town and fetter out a final action plan for a community English teaching co-op. I also am hoping to edit the final draft of a young girl's university personal statement. I also agreed to spend New Year's with Könül's family before saying my final good-byes. Yeah. This is happening.

Three years ago, I thought leaving would be rather easy. I didn't anticipate the gut-wrenching feelings I would be experiencing or the promises that would rush from my lips (such as, yeah. Give me 6 to 8 months, and I will be back). As I sit here in Baku, being poked and prodded, I know that this is just a check box in the final chapter of Löki's life as a PCV and the beginning of my life as an RPCV.

Four Days

In 4 days, I will be an RPCV.

I find this rather unbelievable, thus I have committed to avoiding the obvious. I think this is very healthy* and although I appreciate the countless PCVs, friends, and family who call/email/Twitter questions, when my procrastination results in my very healthy and normal emotional breakdown and I finally make a post-Peace Corps plan, I will let you know.

So...more "Happy Holiday" emails please. Less, "So, what's the plan" Tweets.

*Yup. I get that this plan is a bad plan. I just have no idea why it is more scary pondering my inevitable return to the U.S. than it was preparing for three two years overseas.