Thoughts of what comes next have been dominating my mind lately. The danger in this is that I’m starting to detach from the present, though it is good preparation for my organizations and their respective projects. I have enough time left in my service that I can still accomplish things, but the pressure (and excitement) of the developed world is approaching.
I’ve finally taken a break from travel and can settle back in to village life. Constant disorganization has marred the past couple of months because I have spent so much of it in flux. Staying put will help me focus and give my bank account a break. Independence day is coming up Monday, and country will take a couple days off to celebrate. A large number of government workers are employed away from their families, so holidays in Botswana represent opportunities for them to head back to their home villages. Rakops will probably empty out today, but I’ll welcome the quiet.
It’s strange that I find comfort in solitude now. I suppose it means I’ve truly achieved some of my original goals, because the isolation of my site was once my biggest fear. I do have a good reason for appreciating the alone time: I’m studying for the GRE. Like many other things, I’ve procrastinated in my preparation so I’m left with about a month to buckle down. The whole graduate school application process has stirred up uncertainty about what I will do after May. Living in the African bush has revealed to me that I can live almost anywhere and do basically anything. Though I will say that the next place I live will allow me access to better food, and hopefully a shower. That’s still leaves me with too many options.
The rains came yesterday for the first time in about 7 months. Incidentally, it was a planting day at our garden. The same sort of thing happened last year when my group received our orange saplings. The weather gods smile on my village once in a while. With all the difficulties the garden project has faced in the past, I think it now has what it needs to find some success.
My projects are coming along, and I’m working more on the circumcision campaign over the next few weeks. Having done this project before provides a little more confidence for me, and I know I can do more with it than last time. I’ve also started to prepare my counterparts at my support group for my departure by teaching some of the more basic things I do, like typing letters and networking. After I leave, the organization will be without a Peace Corps Volunteer for almost 6 months, so they need to gain a little more self-sufficiency. I’ve written before about my predecessor and how I’m compared to her – in this way I’ve had to separate. I can no longer fill the commanding role, so I’ve started to delegate more and more. This kind of growth is difficult, but it’s more important than most other things. Hopefully it will translate in sustainability.