I guess it's already February. Today, I have been in Rwanda 9 months. This is twice the amount of time I spent in Paris or Ireland and at this point in my time in Brazil, I was counting the days and prepping to head out and on to BU. But I certainly didn't feel the same way about that time as I have about this time and at this point.
It's been kinda a tough month. This week we'll have our third person leaving from my group. Technically, it'll be the fifth person but the first two left during training and these three have all gone in the past 5 weeks. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have also been in the midst of applying to a Master's in Development Practice program at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. I found the program in a fit of unhappiness and free internet. It's pretty typical to periodically check some favorites and plan for the post-PC days. I'm not dead-set on anything, but I get accepted to this program it'll be hard to say NO. It's bizarrely well-suited for me and I'd love to go back to Ireland, especially if I can do it with Fed. student loans and for half the price of Grad school in the states.
I'm still actively trying to put things together here and working with our senior staff on things that I can do to work through the problems I have been having at site. I really do want to stay and I want to help and I want to work through all the bad to say that I did and made something great of it. It's hard not to think of leaving early as a failure when you commit to the two years...and at the outset, you can't possibly imagine leaving early. BUT...once that idea gets into your head and all the possibilities of what you could do with that year begin to surface....it's hard to move away from that. It's hard to try and make big plans when nothing in your life seems permanent. My housing is still in the process of being changed, my job description is still in flux, and even my rocks, the people (PCVs) around me that I have come to rely on so much, are falling away.
I've had to accept a few things recently:
1. I'm motivated by motivating other people and this is not the same as motivating myself.
2. I need other people by whom I'm challenged, intellectually stimulated and loved by in my life.
3. Neither of those things makes me a weak person.