Well out of the 36 of us that got off that plane Dec 2009, 23 of us gathered together this week for a Close of Service Conference. It was a 3 day long adventure that brought us all to the great Mantasoa one last time. We shared experiences, memories, plans and many other things, including sickness. Yep I’ve gotten my first taste of a stomach illness that wasn’t food poisoning since I’ve arrived here. I consider myself one of the lucky ones because I haven’t been sick and this is miserable. I’m afraid to leave our Peace Corps house for fear of not being able to find a bathroom when I’ll need one. But on a more positive note, the conference was great. We got some useful information and like I said before just being together was a great time. There are a few that are extending for another 6 months or a year and others that will travel before heading back to the states and then some, like me, that will be coming home. I’m excited to be home for Christmas. It’s been quite awhile and it’s way overdue. I’ve been enjoying my time at my village, still going out to the villages and weighing babies and talking to the mothers about lots of good stuff. A friend and I started painting or re-painting signs all over my village. Doing a little clean-up Mahabo. It’s been so good. I also found another little girl in my village who is about maybe a little over a year old and her name is Melissa. Makes me feel honored and really a part of my community. One of my friends here also had a baby at the beginning of September and when I asked what his name was she would say she was still “looking for one”. So I told her “Well he was born on the same day as my dad, Sept 2, and my dad’s name is William. If you want you could name him that.” She was very excited and immediately said yes. The kids were all saying William, William! After a few minutes, I heard her whisper to one of the kids, “what was his name again?” So I told her I’d write it down for her.
The last couple months at my site will be basically me closing up everything and saying my good-byes. It’s been a hard two years but this last couple months will be the hardest. I have made new friends and family both Malagasy and American and it will be hard to say good-bye. I know I will be seeing some friends again and others I prolly won’t. That’s the hardest part of it. I am very excited to come home and see everyone, especially around the holidays. And I am SUPER excited to come home for some snow!!!! I’ve already told my parents that they better bring some warm clothes and boots or at least closed toed shoes. I have nothing warm. I am going to be walking around with the airplane blanket wrapped around me. Here, this would be considered normal, we’ll see how people in Paris and the states react.
So yeah I can’t wait to see everyone when I get home..i don’t have definite plans as of now so I’m open to lots of possibilities. Hope everyone is enjoying fall! Take care and see you soon!
Here are some pics from a market in a bigger city...