Our last Peace Corps Conference was held in a snowy city of southeastern Albania. Traveling five hours through some of the windiest roads in the country, I silently thanked the inventor of motion sickness medicine. But truth be told, there isn’t a road in the world that could hinder my excitement at finishing up two years of service.
The next few days were filled with Power points (of course!), small group sessions, painting, talking about our feelings and our final language exam. Surviving my last twenty minute interview in Albanian (Okay, survive is perhaps a bit melodramatic) I felt blissfully relieved. When I learned I had reached advanced low on the official language scale, I was even happier. However, that only intensified my desire to speak English again!
There are events in life that are significant enough to warrant a new way of thinking. From then on, it marks a before and an after. This may be a fleeting moment, a drawn out event, happy, sad or in between. It doesn’t matter. It impacts you enough to inflict everlasting change. Peace Corps has done that for me. There is a “before I left for Albania” and now there will be an “after my Peace Corps service.” I have subtly grown over the past few years. I am more cultured. More independent. More adventurous. More determined. I have grown into a better version of myself. I am young enough to know, this is only the beginning of one of my “afters.” And I couldn’t be more ready. Ready to keep learning, changing and growing. What could be more exciting than that?