I am now a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and it is ALMOST time for me to say goodbye to this blog. I just spent a few minutes scrolling through my archive and reflecting, and I’ve collected some of my favorite posts here under the #bwana.
I think in my first year I was a more active blogger, things surprised me more, I drew more comparisons to America and I had more heartfelt stories about warm people. In my second year not only did I become much busier, but my writing style seems to have changed. I think this is because living there just became my reality. I stopped comparing things to home, because this was my home; I stopped being surprised by things because I came to know this place so deeply.
I think this is why now, back home, I’m having a hard time talking about my service in Malawi. Perhaps 9-months-in-country-Rita would have been more eloquent when a friend said, ‘Tell me a story about Africa,’ whereas 26-months-in-country-and-now-returned-Rita is at a loss. Africa is not some abstract novelty. It was my life, my friends are there, two years of my work is there.
Readjustment is difficult, just as everyone said it would be. There’s so much to say and yet most of the time, when asked, I end up saying not very much at all. So maybe I’ll ask you for a favor… If you’re reading this now, scroll through 2 years of my favorite posts under #bwana and read a little of what I’ve already said. Then maybe we can build from there and instead of starting with the intimidatingly vague, “tell me a story about Africa” you can say, “tell me about Caeser” “tell me about your students” “How was camp sky?” or really anything slightly more specific. It would really take a load off my shoulders and result in a much more interesting conversation for both of us.