It has been a while since I left Uganda, and I can’t even begin to share how odd it is to look back on my experiences in the Peace Corps and feel as if these past two years were a dream. I think back to how different life was and how to reconcile that with the life that I am living right now. The past two months have been rough, and the transition has been everything but graceful. But I am still alive and getting used to a life that does not seem to hold meaningful value on the surface like it did during my service. Instead, more of an effort is required in order to find meaning in one’s life here.
My next story will continue in my new blog Twelve Years a Rave (twelveyearsarave.com), where I will chronicle my musings and adventures in my new home community of Baltimore City, Maryland. Thank you all for sharing in these past two years, but rest assured that my adventures and stories are still continuing.
Webale Nnyo Bassebo ne Bannyabo,
It is the last Sunday that I will spend in Maryland for a long time. Once again I prepare to bid farewell to my childhood room. I have done this so many times now and the room has gone through so many transformations that I no longer know how to feel about my goodbye. My first real goodbye to this room was almost three years ago when I was packing up for my study abroad spring semester in Dresden, Germany for my sophomore year at Boston University. Back then I was emotionally distraught because I was saying a really long farewell to so many of my friends and family members. My mom had recently moved out of the house that I had grown up in since I was six, and she had moved into a new apartment about a week before I had left for Dresden. My dad also informed me that he was going to sell the house, so I had also had my closure back then with my final last glances at the house as my dad drove me to the airport that morning. And it’s funny to think back to then and to think about where I am right now. My experiences in life thus far have led me to this moment of finally leaving for service in the Peace Corps in Uganda.
The difference with my departure from my room this time is that I have had this goal of serving for over 7 year. I first really heard about the Peace Corps when I joined the two-week leadership program, GYLC (Global Youth Leadership Conference), had the opportunity to visit the Peace Corps headquarters in Washington D.C, and talk to a RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) from Kazakhstan. That was the first moment when I knew that I wanted to one day become involved with the Peace Corps. Now I can honestly say that the waiting has paid off and I feel so ready. What has given me hope and strength has been the support of my friends and family members. I started a GoFundMe Page in order to raise funds to pay for some of my supplies as well as my monthly payments for my personal student loans (since Peace Corps takes care of my Federal Loans). The outpouring of support from Facebook likes, comments, shares, donations, and messages have given me the confidence to go forth and not falter. There are definitely times when I feel very overwhelmed by the immensity and scope of this endeavor that I am about to take, but the comments stating that I have inspired others and Lived the Fourth and desire to change the world have helped me to press on with confidence and hope.
It is true that there are a few of those who do not support me and have let me know that. But I am stronger than their words and committed. The Peace Corps has a slogan: “Life is calling. How far will you go?” I have heard the calling and the joy of that calling has welled within me and my heart for the past 7 years and has been evident in my passions, commitments, and adventures. And now I begin that first step to a life of service that I have dreamed of for so long. The journey will be long and arduous and at times it will suck, but it’s another beginning and I couldn’t be more excited.