Two years is a long time.
But in hindsight it was nothing.
Time is wrapping up in Lehututu, I am leaving on October 14th. October 14th, the day, it seems like it will be here in a blink of an eye.
I am trying to process the wealth of emotions I am feeling on a daily basis right. The thought of leaving is hard, my best friends in the village are all under the age of 5, it breaks my heart to realize that they won’t remember me. It breaks my heart to know that a new PCV is coming in and I will be no more.
But at the same time. Being replaced and saying goodbye is part of the cycle. Kind of like breathing and dying. I am being replaced by a man. Which I am thrilled about, my students and other men in the village need a positive male role model. My heart is lightened that since being a man, the constant comparisons won’t happen--or I should say. The comparisons will be less than if it was a female. As a male, more doors are opened too! He can do things that I never could as a female.
I get a little type-A at times, saying goodbye is an exercise in letting go. I have been working on letting go. Which is easier said than done! Will the new volunteer keep up my garden, but most importantly, will he let my babies water it every day with him? Will he give out all the hugs a kid could need every Monday at the pre-school? Will he spend evenings on sitting side by side my neighbor letting her feed him and making animal sounds together? Will he just be present in the students lives?
Coming into Peace Corps I always said that I never was going to be the volunteer who built 100 pit latrines, I was going to build relationships instead. I have spent the past 670-odd days building relationships. I won’t be leaving structural impacts behind, I am leaving memories and feelings. I have given students an opportunity to be respected, valued, heard. Students will remember how I made them feel not the lessons I have taught them.
Can you handle this cuteness???