Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and children of all ages, the circus is finally coming to a close. No, not the Barnum & Bailey Circus but the bedlam that has been my Peace Corps existence for the past seven months. This is most excellent news and I am beyond ecstatic to share it.
This morning I went with my Assistant Program Director and the Safety and Security Officer to Gabane to meet with the NGO and to see the potential house they had identified for me. All I have to say is "brilliant"! The NGO is amazing. The buildings are covered in paintings of Disney characters and there were dozens of adorable children running around. The staff was unbelievably welcoming and seemed so passionate about the work they are doing and about collaborating with other organizations and clinics in the village. They have clear ideas for what I can do and I see perfectly how I can help them in those projects. Their excitement was contagious. I felt inspired walking through the NGO's compound (which was huge, with a lot of space for playing with the kids and for other expansion and/or income generating projects).
A few hundred feet away, was an adorable house, also on a large compound. They said that house was the one intended for me. Be still my heart, it is ADORABLE. I could hardly believe it. The compound, as I just mentioned, is very big, with shade trees and a breathtaking view of the mountains behind Gabane. Inside the house was every bit as wonderful. It's quite large for a Peace Corps house, with two-bedrooms and a large living space, a great kitchen, and a fireplace (don't judge this component, in the cold winter nights this could be a godsend). In terms of safety, police officers live on both sides of the house and a really sweet girl about my age lives across the earthen road. It is really comfortable. (Did I mention that there is a beautiful view from the house? Because there is.)
The energy everywhere I went, from the NGO to the house and throughout the village, was beyond measure. I literally thought I would cry with happiness and with relief. I am feeling like all of the hard times that I have gone through were worth it. This feels like a blessing and exactly where I am supposed to be right now.
So what is next? The Safety and Security Officer approved the location and the NGO has been approved by my APCD, the CD, and now also by my Assistant Program Manager so now I am waiting on a phone call from my Country Director to give me the final word on when I will be moving. I was advised that it could be as early as tomorrow but, more likely, will be this weekend. I have to finish packing up my house and I have to sit down with my counterpart from the NGO that I am leaving and with the rest of the NGO staff, as well as with my landlord and explain to them the move - at this point they have no idea. These conversations are going to be very difficult. I then have to hug my kids and tell them that I won't be at my house anymore. I am using the caveat "won't be at my house anymore" because I intend to visit Kumakwane and spend time with them regardless of the move. It is still very close so this is possible. There is a lot to be done and a lot to let go of but I finally feel like I am moving in the right direction and that I might make the impact that I have been hoping since arriving last April (and even before).