One of the highlights during a PCV’s ten weeks of preservice training is the volunteer visit. This usually falls during the second or third week of the trainees being in country and provides them some freedom. Each trainee travels to visit a current volunteer to gain insight on what life is like after swearing in as a volunteer. It’s also a great reminder that there is more to service than host families, language classes and constant confusion. (The confusion tends to linger but I like to think it becomes less and less.)
We were lucky enough to have five new volunteers visiting my area,combined with five current volunteers. One of my favorite things about Peace Corps is that it provides you with an opportunity to meet Americans from all over the country with extremely different backgrounds. After only living in Albania for three weeks, the trainees had plenty of questions.
“Do you think you’ve changed?”
“What is the hardest part about Albania?”
“Have you dated here?”
“What is winter REALLY like?”
As I sat on the leaving side of the equation, it was strange to be looking back at where I had started from. And a great reminder at how far I had come. With only three weeks left in country, I have found myself mulling over the failures and successes of the last two years. Whether one outweighs the other is besides the point. I gave it my best shot and that’s all that really matters.