Friday, November 22, 2013


I am happy to announce that on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Peace Corps founder John F. Kennedy, I became a
I am a whole mix of emotions right now. It has been over two years since I was in America and on one hand, I am very excited to leave, but on the other hand, I am dreading it. Most RPCVs will tell you that the hardest part of Peace Corps is returning home. When coming here, you are expecting everything to be different, so you are prepared. But when I think about life in America, it is almost like it should have just stood still and nothing changed. For this reason, I am very glad I am on the boat home with 8 other RPCVs. We will get the chance to enter an American environment, but be with people who we were with here who completely understand what the last two years has been about. I think it will make the transition a bit easier.

Things I am Most Excited for in America
  1. The obvious, friends and family
  2. It might be cold outside, but you have working heat inside that only requires the push of a button
  3. Not being starred at everywhere I go
  4. Being able to wash and dry your clothes in under three hours and the oh-so-softness of clothes fresh from a dryer
  5. People waiting their turn in line
  6. Going to restaurants and being able to hear people as the music is kept at a reasonable level
  7. Food variety: Going to places where every menu isn't identical
  8. Driving cars, rather than riding on long, long buses
  9. As silly as it may sound, the food I am most excited to get back to in America right now is soy yogurt and the rest of my non-dairy alternatives
  10. English being spoken everywhere
  11. No more weird meat products, or at least no one lying to me about what kind of "meat" they are trying to serve me
However, I am sad to say goodbye to this place. This country has been my home for two years. I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows here, but through it all, I have grown personally. As much as the Peace Corps experience is about skills transfer and bettering the lives of those you work with, you do have a whole lot of time to spend working on yourself (sometimes too much time!). And despite all the lows I have experienced here, I wouldn't have traded this for anything.

Things I am Least Excited for in America
  1. Everything costs so much more in America
  2. Here working 7:30-1:30 was a long day, I can't imagine working 8 hours a day anymore
  3. While you can only get what's seasonal and not too crazy, the fruits and vegetables here are just better
  4. People you have never met invite you into their homes here, that concept doesn't exist in America.
  5. American news is filled with all the negative things that go on. Macedonian news isn't. This is a very safe country. 
  6. English being spoken everywhere- Its been kinda nice not understanding everything people say to you
  7. Dealing with the "real world"- I can't escape it forever 
The countdown:
  0 days until I COS
4 days until I leave Macedonia
  20 days until I arrive in America
  21 days until I am back in Minnesota

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