The group of PCVs I came to country with is in the midst of a transition period right now. The volunteers that were here when we got to our final sites are all about to leave – they’ve finished their service and they’re heading for home. At the same time, there is a new group of volunteers that just finished their training and are arriving at their final sites to replace the old volunteers who are leaving. And my group is stuck in the middle – we’re missing the excitement and the bittersweet feeling of a big change… but I’m actually glad to be in this position.
Yes, of course I’m insanely jealous of the PCVs who are leaving to go back to America; to their family, friends, pets, steady jobs, and Chipotle. But we get to go back to visit soon anyway! I’m not going to lie, I can’t say I’m excited to come back after our visit and return to working at the Dar Chebab. But I am excited to come back and finish traveling to all the places I haven’t been yet, visit fellow PCVs I haven’t gotten a chance to visit yet, and show some friends who are planning to visit around Morocco. And who knows, maybe I’ll get a successful project or two in before I leave for good. I’ll be here, feeling jealous, as my former-PCV friends rediscover America. But I’ll also be here as they miss Morocco at the same time, and I’m hoping that hearing about that aspect of returning to America will help me really appreciate where I am for this last year of my service.
Matt and I will also get to be that steady presence for the new volunteers that I remember counting so much on when we first got to Azilal. We offer them an escape from host family, advice in finding a house, hope for their future projects, recommendations for where to travel, and delicious taco recipes. Matt was even recently appointed as Warden for our region, which means he is literally the contact person for these new PCVs in getting settled into site and finding a house – he’ll travel to visit all of them to approve the houses they find, which is a role I know he’s really looking forward to. Anyway, we’re the “old” group now, which is actually a really nice feeling. It’s like when my family came to visit and we suddenly were able to see how much we’d learned in the year since we’d last seen them. Seeing the new PCVs reminds me of how I felt when I was in their shoes, and realizing how far I’ve come since then.
Matt and I are feeling a lot of things right now – we’re excited for our friends who are leaving, but we’re also sad to see them go, and sad that we can’t go with them. We’re excited to meet all the new volunteers, and empathetic to the craziness they might be feeling right now. But despite all of these feelings, we’re actually in a pretty solid place right now finishing up our work for the year and getting ready for our visit home to the States. And that feels pretty good. 🙂