Speaking of the people in this country... I had my last night with my first host family the other night and it was incredibly tough. I remember how hard my first few weeks here were with that family and how much I didn't want to be there; that last night, I didn't want to leave. I had a point while I was sitting out on the ground with my host mother and brother just talking for about 3 hours and I felt completely content. Life is so fast-paced and rushed in America, it's different in Africa. There are days here that are beyond difficult but then there are days like I had the other night. These times I feel at peace with where I am in my life and with myself. This gives me so much hope for the future that I will, in time, adjust to my new host family and feel at home here.
Tomorrow we head off to our respective sites. I am feeling terrified, anxious, excited, and apprehensive (among a million other things). I am not near to any other volunteers so it will be the first time that I am completely on my own in this country. I'll still be living with a new (different) host family but alone in the sense that I won't be near anyone who speaks English. We are also supposed to spend the first few months at our site just getting used to being there. This makes sense but I'm worried people will think, "What is this lazy American doing here, she never works or anything, just tries and fails miserably at speaking our language?!" Peace Corps is supposed to sensitize the communities against this and tell them the first few months are purely for integration but whether or not people listen to that is a different story.
I know I'm going to have tough times but yesterday, coming home from Dakar, I don't think I'd ever laughed so hard. Looking at my friends there next to me, crammed into this rickety old car, dripping sweat, it was too funny not to laugh. Now I understand why I was asked several times throughout the interview process if I have a good sense of humor. To be a Peace Corps volunteer, you need it.
I think I'll wrap things up here though. Time is a ticking and the amenities in my village are pretty basic so I need to get some stuff here in the big city.
Thanks for reading,