100 Days Into My Peace Corps Experience

Fes

100 Days In

100 Days Down.  700 to go.  The past week has changed everything for me.  It started with Spring Camp.  That gave me the first experience of interacting with kids in Bhalil.  Once camp concluded, I got to work on some of the most important aspects of my time here.  First, getting a house of my own.  As of yesterday, I have the key to my very own beautiful apartment.  I will be spending the week ahead furnishing it and moving in.  Secondly, I am filling my schedule with classes.  I already have three English Classes scheduled in the week ahead.  I am likely to get a couple more over the next couple days.  Most of them will be reoccurring.  This will be the core of my service.  All of my projects will branch out from the kids that I teach.

Starting to be successful is changing a lot.  There have also be recent changes back in America.  It has all brought me to a strange understanding.  I now know what I am doing in Morocco.  I now know the full extent of the sacrifice I made by leaving America.  The combination is strange.  On the up side, my feet are planted firmly in Morocco and my service will benefit from that.  On the down side, there is no going back to the way things used to be.  I knew Peace Corps would change my life.  But what surprises me is how it changed me.

The emotional roller coaster that was 100 days of homestay is over.  It made me realize how many emotions can be active at the same time.  There was one point when I almost exhausted my vocabulary for emotions and honestly felt all of them simultaneously.  It is exhausting.  However, considering I was an anxious wreck only six months ago, this is a great change for me.

The other aspect is Love.  I have come to realize the true meaning of love here.  In all forms.  I have never truly understood how much I love my family…because I have never had to miss them this much.  It is a great thing to realize.  The same happens for friends.  I coming to realize who I was close to because they were around…and who is honestly a good friend (and how I can be a better friend).  As for romantic love, that is a whole other can of worms.

I am ready for the second 100 days.  I know that I do not know what they hold.  That is clear.  I barely understand what tomorrow holds.  But that is part of the beauty of Morocco and Peace Corps.  You never know what is going to happen…but is usually turns out for the best.

Like being ushered into a random house and given cake, peanuts, and tea.

Morocco is awesome.

A Feeling I Cannot Shake

Something is off.  I’m doing well in my Final Site.  This is something else.  Not the strangeness of the place, the people, or the food.  This has to do with home.  I know most people would simply call it homesickness.  But that sounds to simple to me.  This is more.  To be honest…even if I Early Terminated right now and went back “home” to Colorado, I would have this feeling.  It’s an intense detachment.  I’m seeing all my connections fade.  I should have know this was inevitable…but was there even a way to accept it before?  I don’t believe so.

I don’t talk with friends back home very often.  When i do, I either feel a pang in my stomach or can’t find much to talk about.  The same, strange enough, is happening with my family.  Our conversations feel shorter.  Through no fault of anyone, all of the relationship’s I’ve built up for 23 years are fading.  I guess that is what happens when you are an ocean and and continent away.  It’s a pailful experience   I didn’t notice it until my kinda-relationship back home was put on hold.  This was also expected…but that doesn’t make it any easier.

I find myself relying on the support structure that I’ve built over the last ten weeks with other Peace Corps Volunteers.  Given, it is a strong support system.  I have no fear of going without advice and help.  It’s the transition of going from my usual support system to something entirely different that is getting at me.  I have these people who I regarded as immovable pillars in my life back home.  To know that I can not rely on the pillars in strange…and awkward.  I miss my friends.  I miss my family.  I miss my special someone.  I will always love them.  24 months and counting…

A poem I wrote today:

Inescapable