Thursday, January 24, 2013

COS: The First Acknowledgment

We just now, while I was reveling in all the glory of Peace Corps service and gushing to my mom about my center's latest accomplishments, received our Close of Service (COS) Conference schedule. This was the first acknowledgement by Peace Corps that our two years are coming to a close. Officially. It isn't just us volunteers talking about it anymore. It's really happening. Of course, that date was always going to come - we have known it was May 28, 2013 since we were sworn in and we knew the conference would be in February to mark our "lockdown" period three months prior. This hasn't changed. But, in looking at the schedule and reading the discussion topics ("representing your experience", "saying goodbye and bringing effective closure to your last months in-country", and even "group picture") made me tear up. They tried to soften the blow by calling it "Close/Continuation of Service" for those of us hoping to extend but it didn't stop my water works. No-sir-ee. This sap is having a hard time wrapping her brain around it. Even the thought of trying to give this experience an abridged version is daunting and then trying to say goodbye to everyone here seems impossible. Here the tears come again...

Now, my reaction doesn't necessarily reflect my fellow volunteers' sentiments, although I'm certain we all have a tie to Botswana, and to each other, that will make this a tough transition even if the others don't cry like me. And my tears don't mean that I won't be thrilled to come home and see my family and friends (and have a triple grande sugar-free vanilla soy latte and a big plate of Thai food). But this experience has had a very deep and profound impact on me and the eye leakage was involuntary when thinking about it all coming to an end. (And please note: I'm writing this right now and both the power and water are out in my village. That's what should be making me cry, not this. Right?!)

Somehow this all seems sudden, despite knowing the COS date all along. So I am sharing this, in part, to document the day when Bots 10 received its very first COS Conference email and, in part, because it was an emotional reaction that I hadn't expected.

1 comment:

  1. Well congratulations in making this far. I remember reading about your count down to leaving and it's been quite the ride. :)