Today is my last day in Nacuxa and the only way I can describe the feeling is that it doesn’t feel real. I cannot believe 2 years have already passed. I have learned so much—about Mozambique, its people and culture, and about myself. There were great days, bad days, lonely days, exciting days, days when the crianças wouldn’t stop bugging me, days when I felt doubtful about finishing my service and days when I felt so loved and appreciated. I am going to miss so many things about Nacuxa and the people here.
When I left America in September 2012 I knew I was going to miss my family and friends, but what I didn’t realize was how I would gain another set of family and friends. I knew when I came to Peace Corps (PC) that I would be able to go back in 2 years and see everyone again in America. Leaving Mozambique is not like that. I’m leaving my community with the hopes of one day returning to visit but I don’t know when. They have become my family while I’ve been here. They have given me support, made me laugh when I was sad, gave me advice and showered me with love. I feel so grateful to have known these wonderful people and to have learned so much from them. I will truly miss my Nacuxa and Peace Corps family. They have changed me. And I hope I have helped them and made an impact on their lives as they have on mine.
The quote “no one said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it” really describes my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer. There were times when I thought there was no way I could make it another week let alone two years in a foreign country. I am so happy that I can proudly say that I made it! It was the most amazing, difficult, eye-opening, stressful, exciting, and terrifying experience of my life. I know I have changed into a different person (hopefully a better one) and I have learned so much about myself. I know if I see a bug in my bed I can calmly pick it up and throw it off whereas two years ago I wouldn’t have done that. I know that I can haggle prices in a foreign language. I know I can live without running water or air conditioning. I know I can bake cakes without an oven. I know I can live without supermarkets and restaurants. I know if I can be a PCV I can do anything (cheesy but true). And I know I can now cross off one of my life goals. I have successfully completed my 27-month Peace Corps service and I have to tell you it feels amazing!
I’m so grateful for all of the support and encouragement my family and friends in America have given to me these past two years. Your letters, phone calls, messages, prayers, packages, and love got me through! I know without a doubt in my mind that without all your support and encouragement I would not have made it through my service. I hope you all know that I am incredibly grateful for everything! I'm leaving my Mozambican family but returning to my American one. Vou ter muito suadades de vocês! See you in a week, America!
Estamos juntos Moçambique!
Some final pictures from this week...
Celestino, Rabson and I, seminarians from my English theater group
Valentim and I, a student from the 2nd level class D
3rd level class A
3rd level class B
Santos and Raimundo, students from the 2nd level class D
Bryson and I