Dear Followers of my blog,
For the past 14 months I have been posting the emails that i send to my friends and family on this blog in case i missed anyone on the email list that might be following the blog. I have to say that the comments have surprised me at times, i never thought very many people would see it or read it and i never thought it would be people who didn't even know me. I wanted to make one last post for you guys, the parents of other volunteers, other volunteers themselves, "future" RIM volunteers from the group that didn't quite make it ( so sorry we never got to meet guys, we were looking forward to it just as much as you were, but hey now you can be thankful because it would have been pretty miserable to get there only to be evacuated), and any others who read/are reading this.
Thank you for letting me tell you my story, it always feels good to have a story to tell that people want to hear. I will not be posting on this blog any more unless I decide to re-enroll in the peace corps and go somewhere else, but at this moment the chance of that seems pretty remote. I was immensely attached to my family and life in Mauritania and moving straight out of there and into a new community just doesn't feel like something i'm strong enough to handle any time soon. I know that I would be comparing these relationships to the ones i made in Mauritania and its not fair to go into a new community with that outlook. I was very lucky in the two host families that i had in mauritania, both during training and at site I was made to feel welcome and like a member of a family within moments of my arrival. I can't express how much this meant to me and i wouldn't trade these experiences for the world.
To all the prospective Peace Corps Volunteers out there that might be reading this: I know the application process is so drawn out its painful, there are people in my class who had been waiting 2 or 3 years for a placement. Just know that Peace Corps itself, the whole experience, will be long, drawn out, and sometimes discouraging and exhausting, just like the application process, but when you get there, if you have the right attitude, and your open to whatever might happen, i promise it can be the best decision you have ever made in your life.
Finishing Peace Corps, whether you're ready or not, is not like leaving any other job you will ever have. I may have left my heart in Mauritania but the pain of leaving is nothing compared to the joy of the experiences and memories that i brought back with me.
Good luck to everyone applying/transferring/continuing/debating service! I know I'll do Peace Corps again some day, but not until I'm good and ready.
The group of people I served with were all amazing in their own way, and so talented and motivated that even though this feels like the end of something big for us (well, it is) and is also the beginning of something even bigger! Good luck everyone! Especially those that direct transferred and are continuing right now, I admire your strength and dedication.
To the parents of direct transfer folks, I bet you wanted them to come home at least a little bit, but I bet you're just bursting with pride in your awesome child for their decision to continue(Tim's mom, that ones for you!).
To Anyone Else who might be reading this: Does anyone have a job for me? Just kidddddding! I love you all, but I most likely won't write anymore.
Shelby Perry, RPCV
Health Education Volunteer/Water Sanitation Engineer
June 2008 to August 2009
Pay it Forward
6 years ago