I know that I still haven't finished writing about my trip across Malawi with Mike. Trust me that one day, I will finish writing about it (hint- today is not that day). It was an unforgettable trip so I know I'll always be able to write about it!
The end of my Peace Corps service is upon me. I can't believe it's reached this point. The last 3 months at site is when we're supposed to close out all of our work (so it remains in the hands of the community and continues when we're gone) and to enjoy the end of our village experiences. This last 3 months began with our COS (close of service) Conference with my health group, on the southern Malawi lakeshore. I got to spend 4 days and 3 nights with the group I came to Malawi with. We got advice for our readjustment to America, learned how we will close out our service (bureaucratically, pooping in cups for the doctor, etc), and got to spend some quality time together. It was wonderful! We were at a beautiful resort on the lake, the weather was surprisingly wonderful (for rainy season!), and the food was delicious. On our last night, we had a braai (the Malawian version of a barbecue), a lovefest for the incredibly supportive John and Irene (Peace Corps Malawi staff that ran our conference) and an amazing dance party, DJ'd by yours truly. It was one of the most memorable nights of my service, and made me so thankful for my group. The love and friendship I feel for my training group has made my service so special. I think we all wouldn't have made it if we didn't have each other! I look forward to having these relationships to rely on when I'm back in America freaking out at grocery stores and stuff.
At conference, I found out that my Peace Corps service will officially be over on April 25. I will no longer be a Peace Corps volunteer midday on that day. Crazy to think! When my service is over, my friend Jay and I will be driving around Malawi on an advertising trip for Maji Zuwa, the lodge owned by my friend Matt. I believe I have spoken about Maji Zuwa ALL THE TIME? (I promise to write a separate post about Maji Zuwa's impact on me another time.) But anyway, we are going to be visiting lodges and resorts all over Malawi to drop of posters and talk with lodge managers about promoting Maji Zuwa! It's going to be so fun, I am very excited. And then, on May 10th, I begin my journey home on the aeroplane!!
When I get home, I will begin my immediate participation in my sister Kara getting hitched on June 2! I believe this includes getting a dress fitted, getting my hair styled, going to a bachelorette party- I am ready to finally step us as belated maid of honor. The rest of the summer I plan on doing some traveling around the US of A- surprisingly, I have not seen very much of it. I plan on hitting up NYC, Florida, the west coast for the FIRST TIME, and more! Potentially even Cape Cod for a Peace Corps reunion! In addition, my amazing parents are taking me and my sister Dana on the Disney Cruise to ALASKA!! I have never been so excited for a vacation!! It should be a pretty fun summer.
In the fall I plan on buckling down and getting my job hunt on. I'm going to take the GRE and apply for enrollment to graduate school in 2014, probably for a Master's in Social Work. I'm looking forward to the next step in my career.
So that's the 411 on me! Anyone out there with any job contacts, in need of a babysitter/petsitter/house sitter, or selling a used hybrid car, please gimme a shout! All friends and family, please contact me so I can begin to fill up social calendar :) I miss you guys and can't wait to see you SOON! >89days!