Friday, July 15, 2011

Goodbyes

Today was my last day in Bambey. Tomorrow a car picks me up drive on to get Alyssa, then Jackie, then we're off to Dakar. I can't believe it's the end. Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited to get home but I just can't believe that it's been two years and that my Peace Corps Service - a block of time I've been talking about and thinking about for almost three years now... is done. This part of my life has two days left on it then it's on to the next thing, whatever that ends up being.

Yesterday I went around town saying my final goodbyes to some of my work partners. I also had a little last minute business to wrap up, securing my replacement a counterpart, and then I needed to pack. I was taught to pack in piles, which, in Onyshko speak, usually means a pile to pack and a pile to throw out.... in my current life it means a pile pack for home, a pile to pack then unpack and give to specific volunteers, a pile to pack then unpack for the general free-for-all volunteer closet, a pile for my host family, a pile of things to leave for my replacement, and a pile of trash. Add Khady coming to my room and constantly moving things and you get quite a hectic time, but it's almost done. All I have left to do tomorrow morning is pack my electronics, sweep, and lock the trunk for my replacement.

Today I said goodbye to Matar and gave him the Peace Corps shirt my training group made. It's dorky and probably too small for him but he has my ancienne's so I thought it would be nice if he had mine too. That was a hard goodbye but I know that nothing will be as hard as saying goodbye to my family.

Tonight they made me beans for dinner because they're my favorite. One of the kids saw it and said, "beans? ugh? really? we're eating beans? whhhyyyy?" and the three women responded "because Fatou loves them and it's her last night!" It was so nice that they did that for me. My host mom also made me a care package of my favorite Senegalese things to take back home. Adji (the 12 year old) will be in summer school tomorrow when I leave so I had to say goodbye to her today... we were both crying by the end of it so I know that tomorrow I'm going to be a mess. Normally my philosophy on goodbyes is that you're either good enough friends you'll see them again or you're not really friends so you shouldn't cry. My host family really is the exception to that rule. They've become a second family to me and I want to see them again but I don't know when it will be, who will be around, all of that. It's just going to be sad but to come home I have to say goodbye.

So! Tomorrow I leave Bambey. I'm going to try and blog at least once more from Dakar, hopefully in that sitting I'll have two blogs to post. Happy Friday everyone.

KO

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