In working toward fulfilling the Peace Corps Mission of promoting world peace and friendship, as a trainee and Volunteer, you are expected to:
1.) Prepare your personal and professional life to make a commitment to serve abroad for a full term of 27 months …
As of writing this post I have 79 days left of my service in Burkina Faso. I cannot believe I made it to this point. There were several times when I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it. I was ready to jump ship several times. I was even trying to land a summer internship that would require me to early terminate my service. In the end, it looks like I’m going to finish my service. It’s been a difficult yet absolutely amazing experience.
Being so close to the end, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what I’ll be doing next. Mainly dreaming up ideas and planning the environmental living/men’s lifestyle blog I hope to launch soon after I return. There is also my return to Indiana for my last two semesters of grad school, but I’m less excited about that. I had a great time, both personally and scholastically, during my first year at Indiana. Though while in Burkina, all my fellow classmates have moved on. Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown? You’d think I’d be more comfortable with the “unknown” after this experience.
The remaining days are just slipping away. Being the planner that I am, I’ve been trying to lay out what I want to do with my remaining time. Firstly, I know I want to blog and write more. I never really got into a good blogging groove while here and I could blame it on the internet, but that’s not a strong excuse. If I’m going to start a blog as a revenue stream, however, I’m going to need to get better at writing/blogging. Not that I think that I am a bad writer, I’ve just never had to write on a consistent basis. Writing is a slow process for me that I’m going to need to streamline if I’m hoping to generate several thousand words of new content each week. So, Goal 1: write and blog more.
Goal 2: Improve my French. How many hours have I spent working on my French during my service, since finishing training? A total of zero hours. Nada. Not at all. All the progress I’ve made has been from living in village and picking it up along the way. I’m personally impressed with my current French level, having come to Burkina Faso knowing how to only say “good morning” and “grapefruit.” I have a lot of room for improvement though. From now until the end of my service, I’m going to be studying away with Rosetta Stone, textbooks, French films, and conversations with more educated French speakers in my village.
Amidst my writing and French studies, I plan to spend a lot of time eating good healthy food and working out. Since the start of this year I’ve really been working to transform my body. So, before I return to the junk food nation of the world, I want to push my body even farther to counteract the likely junk binge that will take place for at least a week after my return. Donc, Goal 3: Better, faster, stronger.
Lastly, I want to have fun. My days in village are numbered. I want to go out with a bang. Spend my time with my friends. Spend time biking in the bush, exploring nature. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance to come back here again. This might be my last chance to do Burkina-things. At the same time, I want to have fun with my fellow volunteers. I still haven’t been to many of my volunteer friends’ villages. Still many sightseeing things I haven’t done. I hope I’ll be seeing my Peace Corps friends stateside (NYC New Years 2015), but its going to be odd not hanging out every month.
A lot has changed. A lot is going to change. I came to Burkina Faso to make a difference. It’s been hard to judge the impact that I’ve made, but I do know what has been impacted the most. Myself. Time to enjoy my remaining days and keep changing for the better.