It's done! From 09/09/09 to 11/11/11, I served in my little mountain town of Amizmiz, aka Sedona-miz, and my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer has now come to a close. I am officially an RPCV now!
Currently, I think can accurately identify a few obvious emotions of RPCV life - relief, happiness, and exhaustion to name a few - though, I have got to say, I haven't really processed it all just yet. At the moment, it all feels like I'm just on another quick UK vacation, due to return to my site in just a few days' time. I'm still living out of a suitcase, still ruffling through many a 'Moroccan' outfit, still taking a questionable amount of time between showers... I have most definitely not reacclimatised to the West just yet. Though, once home in California, my mother has already made it perfectly clear how many times I'm allowed to wear jeans before they need to be washed and how many days my hair can go without a shampoo. Personal hygiene will be kept in check.
In addition to simple cleaning rituals, I'm obviously expected to be processing a few more transitional issues. It's not simply a move from Morocco to America that is taking place, it's the close of a job; it's the end of Peace Corps; it's reintegrating to a previous culture; readjusting to living with my family and not alone; it's hunting for jobs; it's applying to grad school; it's a difficult goodbye to my host family, a so long to my Moroccan community, and a departure from my fellow PCVs - volunteers who have not only become dear friends, but who were my co-workers, my family, and my entire support system. The former processes I had expected, I hadn't anticipated the sadness that would accompany the latter. So though I'm supposed to be dealing with all of these things at the moment, I'm somehow... not. In typical procrastination fashion, I am doing my best to avoid thinking about and processing all of these transitions. I have one more week left in London to just be. To just enjoy. Reality can strike next Tuesday, when my Mom can be there to temper my inevitable accompanying breakdown.
A breakdown that will surely go something like this: My mother and I will be shopping, on a weekend afternoon, among throngs of shoppers in a crowded mall. We are obviously doing some last minute Christmas gift buying, as stocking stuffers are still on the list. She says to me that she needs to find Dad some cologne and that she'll be right back, leaving me in the ornament section to find a new tree decoration. As I glance across the display, a small trinket catches my eye. It's a tagine tree ornament. Priced at $13.99. 10 minutes later, my mother will return to find me cross-legged on the grounded, crying into the tagine ornament, having just scolded a young girl and her parents for even considering buying something so ridiculous priced at nearly 14 dollars. ''Don't you know you could buy a real tagine in Morocco for less than 2 dollars?!? And then buy an entire weeks groceries for a family of 6 with the rest?!?! Don't you know what's really important in the world?! And what are you doing even buying a tagine Christmas ornament?! That doesn't even make sense!... Yes, I know The Office did a Moroccan Christmas episode, but culturally... I'm sorry, did you just say what's a tagine?!?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIVES?!?'' ... I just hope my mother knows what to say to the authorities and doesn't have me committed.
Anywho, instead of writing a future chapter of my memoirs just now, I'm going to go enjoy a crisp but beautiful morning in London with some friends. Here are some pictures of my last few days in Morocco for you to enjoy before my next entry.