I am home. I am no longer in the Peace Corps. I arrived on July 1, 2016 and have been “readjusting.” First I stayed with Sumaya and Don, then I moved into my own house. I am living alone again, like in South Africa, but with old friends, neighbors, and family close-by. I am driving my car! I am taking showers! I have a kitchen with a sink! I have an indoor toilet!
The most amazing thing is that although I have memories and photos and blog posts of my two years in South Africa, I don’t feel like I went. It was a two-year time warp! Days and weeks in South Africa felt very very long. But the two years? Over in a flash! However, I am texting with my new friends in South Africa! I must have been there!
The last two weeks after my farewell went quickly, first with Marie in the Battlefields area, then with the whole remaining gang (17 of us) at our Close of Service Conference in a hotel near Pretoria and then a week in Pretoria at an approved backpackers doing Close of Service (in my case, Early Termination) activities and touring Pretoria. There were a few of us remaining in Pretoria and it was fun to meet volunteers from other cohorts and hang out with volunteers from my cohort during the last few days.
I am almost over jet lag, finished taking de-worming meds, still taking malaria meds, can’t sleep much, have rotten digestion, interviewing professionals who might refinish the hardwood floors in my house, got a new phone and new phone number, am learning online banking so I can pay my own bills, coping with the end of a marriage, walking the hills with friends in my new Keens shoes, reading a great book for one of my two book clubs, talking and talking with friends, going out to eat at Mexican restaurants, eating sourdough French bread.
I am trying to construct and reconstruct a life here in Redwood City, California as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, a single, 70-year-old woman, with many options and possibilities.
THANK YOU to all my supporters who have called, written, sent care packages, visited, given money, listened to my whining, complemented me and commented on my blog postings over the last two years. I could not have done it without you!
THANK YOU a million times over!
I want to see you! Call me! Write to me! Visit me!
Remember all the money you donated at my farewell party in June 2014? I have wired it to my friend and principal, Mam Ndlovu. It came to 15,712.79 Rand. It will employ Mxolisi as our school clerk for 10 months! Thank you!
What a long strange trip it has been!