November 15, 2010
That's when my exit interviews begin to take place in the Peace Corps office in Maputo. Close of Service, as it's formally called, is the week of medical tests and questions about my life in Mozambique that proceeds my departure. They want to know how I measure up with my language abilities, how much I learned from my experience living and working in the Maxixe community, and most importantly... what exactly I accomplished during 26 months in country: Where did I fail? Where did I succeed? Do I have any suggestions that can help future volunteers? Then comes the inevitable end: 'Ok, thanks Vic. Have a safe trip home!'
Finding out about my COS date this past week hasn't exactly been jarring, despite my initial surprise at hearing about it so soon. I'm not afraid of disappointing myself or anyone else with what I've done thus far and I'm not afraid for the next stage... I'm actually extremely excited about everything. :) But it's still very much an important point in my life here, a time to think about how exactly I can do what I need to do before I leave.
I suppose when it comes down to it, my thoughts very closely reflect the way I felt back in my days at Canisius, making a final lap in a cross country race. I know the course very well by now... where to go and what strategy to take when I get to certain points. I know that pacing myself is beneficial, but that it's also time to pick it up and make sure that when I get to the finish line, I will have given it my all; mentally, emotionally and physically.
The digression from the running metaphor of course comes as I prepare for life after COS. I mean, I couldn't possibly imagine running a race and thinking, 'Hmm, I wonder what I'll do when I get home. And what am I going to do right now that will positively affect my life after I cross the finish line?" That's where I am at currently as I look forward to applying to law school, working when I get home, figuring out a place where I might live, and of course, marrying the love of my life.
I'm excited for the future, but I have to try and balance that with the present and all of the things I'm juggling. I want to focus on what I need to do in terms of preparing for post PC life and do it, but I also want to see the programs that I am working on thrive and succeed. It's a tricky balance, but one that I think I can pull off.
At this point I know I can fight the good fight. I know I will absolutely finish the race. And I will, no matter what happens, keep the same faith that has sustained me along the way. Just one more lap to go... and less than seven months to the finish line.