Hmm, I seriously am debating whether or not it is worth the time to write an entry just two days before I will be home, but I already have an opening sentence so I will go on. This is my last time coming into the Peace Corps office. I have officially handed in all of my paperwork and the final report for my Partnership project (don't worry donors...I will have a report and pictures out to you soon, but that will be oh so much easier with a DSL connection when I get to Minnesota). Despite this being my last time in the office and my final days as a volunteer, this trip doesn't feel very different from all the other times I had to come here (basically that it's a pain in the butt to travel so far and I can't wait to get back home to my town, my bed, and my Ismael). I was thinking about it as I was walking from the bank this morning after closing my account...I am done. But it so does NOT feel that way. Maybe it's because I am coming back in less than a month or because I will be continuing with some of the same projects I was working on before or because I have been so busy lately that I have not had time to think about next week. It could also be that all this has been so big and I do not really know how to start taking the next step (besides all the wedding planning and visa stuff); but that thought just opens up another whole can of worms that I do not want to face right now. The short of it is that more than half of my group (those volunteers who arrived at the same time as I did), though our number had slowly dwindled down to 18 over these two years, left this morning and are not coming back. It's strange to think - though for me the change is not immediate because I did not get to see these people everyday - but two of them were very close friends (future bridesmaids) and it is a pretty big concept to grasp that we will probably never see each other in El Salvador again! So I keep saying it to myself and writing it, but it is just not sinking in yet.
So that is where I am, in the office, getting ready to go back home to enjoy another day of fiesta tomorrow, finishing with the Peace Corps. I have a few project details to line up between today and Thursday, a second suitcase to pack, and then I am heading home for a while. It will be a longer visit and hopefully I will be able to get a few details taken care of that will make my and Ismael's arrival easier. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone (family and friends) and my puppy. Then there' Aaron's wedding to enjoy and more friends and family to see there. So once again I think we will be cramming all I can into a short period of time, but I am looking forward to it. Honestly, though, I do not have things so put-together as last time. I have not had time to prep for this trip or to organize reunions, but if I have not learned flexibility here I have learned nothing...so I am n ot worrying or planning or anything until I am there.
Wow, if you can't tell from my rambling I feel kind of scatter brained and not overly coherent right now, so I will wrap up by letting you know that I moved houses last week and am now renting a room in a mansion with a pool (you can ask me when you see me). Ismael and I went to my friend Alison's wedding on Friday (she also married a Salvadoran man) and we had a blast (and Ismael walked away with a friend he might get to see in the States!). I had a couple of good bye parties (even though I am coming back) which were pretty fun. Finally, I have developed a case of chronic back pain or some kidney disorder that I am supposed to get checked out in Minnesota. Otherwise, things are moving along as normal...Ismal working the fields, it rains most everyday, and the pupusas are as tasty as ever. So that's it in a nut shell for now.
So I am signing off as a Peace Corps volunteer, but I will try to keep the blogs up until Ismael and I are in the States for good. After Friday call me at home or email to get together!