As we look ahead to placement and the upcoming two years, I think it is also important to look back and acknowledge the Bots 10ers that will not be joining us on this journey. Peace Corps estimates that 10% of people that make it to pre-service training do not make it to swearing in. Bots 10 is no exception.
In total, our group has lost four people (reaching our 10% mark). We lost one person prior to staging, another person at the JFK airport, and two more since we arrived in Botswana.
It is really hard to say goodbye to people that we have grown to love and respect like family. We have been thrust together in this and we feel responsible for one another and share in our triumphs and tragedies. This experience is very powerful, as is the range of emotions that become exacerbated when we learn someone wants to say goodbye.
A lot of questions come up when someone makes the choice to leave, including doubts about our own decision to stay. Thoughts about home – the people we love, our past lives, and the things that are familiar – become ever present in our minds. And then we wonder if we could have done something to make our comrades want to stay or how we could have better supported them in Botswana and what we can do for them when they transition back home. The thing that remains the same and is unwavering is that each of these people, regardless of where they are, will always be part of our Bots 10 family.
I want to take this time to honor the four that we wish could be with us on Saturday and send my love, support, and well wishes as they forge new paths. You will always be a part of me and we will see each other again. Until then, tsamaya sentle…