Wednesday, August 14, 2013

100. Days Left

We used to say, "O tempo esta a correr" (the time is running).  

Now, with a wistful sense of finality, we've just begun admit that, "O tempo ja foi"  (the time has already gone). 

I never realized what it would feel like to near the end of my Peace Corps service.  I thought that I would feel relieved, maybe.  Proud.  Excited.  Ready.  

I never thought that it would simply break my heart.  

I can't describe it, really.  

There are things that I have here that I can never get back.  Things that, once I walk away, will be lost to me forever.  There are thousands of tiny nuances that will never realign.  

How can I describe my life here in Mozambique?  How can I describe what I am leaving? What is my Peace Corps experience?

It's the sound of my dog, guarding the house at night.  It's the tinkling, bouncy music from Malawi.  The thunderstorms that shake the walls of the house.   The searing rain on the aluminum roof.  My babies, my kids-- Jovita, who is learning how to talk.  Tabita, who just wants to be near me.  Little Amiginha, who just wants to be held.   It's the papers, the crayons, and the night-time TV on the porch.  It's the sand and the soccer balls.  The shouting and singing and wailing and crying-- the relentless noise of tight-knit, densely-woven, African village life.  

I'm now in the last 100 days of my Peace Corps service, and I know that I'm not ready to go. Or rather, that I will go, but that it will hurt me to do it.  

Because I can't stay, I will instead try to love every single moment.  Every hug, every child, every tear that I wipe.  Every cut that I wash, every band-aid I place.  Every student.  Every lesson.   Every walk in the mountains.  

Because I am nearing the end of my Peace Corps service, I am going to do something that I have always wanted to do.  I am going to challenge myself to write every day, and to post something every day for my last 100 days of service.  My posts will be small-- a picture, a description, a story-- but I want to use them to help organize the subtle nuances that make up my real life in Mozambique.  I want to post about the little things-- the things that are most easily forgotten.  I want to share one interesting thing, per day.

In the end, I hope to capture Zobue as it is today.  I hope to take a snapshot of the culture, the town, and the people I'm leaving behind.  I want to take it with me.

Join me as I catalog everything, with 100 days to go.  


  1. I can't wait to read your blog the next few months! I'm going to be so sad to see you leave, but think of it this way.. you're passing the magic of Zobue on to two other lucky volunteers. <3

  2. It's been nearly 20 years since the end of my Peace Corps service, and I still think of it all the time.

    You will be away, but you will remember.

    Looking forward to reading your daily posts,

    Kris, RPCV, Poland 5 (1992-94)

  3. I feel the same. Good news is that even though you have to leave it, it never leaves you. All will be a part of your memories and your heart to be shared and learned from and honored in the future.
    RPCV, Sri Lanka (1992-1994)

    1. Thanks, guys!

      Soon-to-be RPCV, Mozambique (2011-2013)


  4. It has been 20 years for me this Sept. since I left my Peace Corps life in Kenya. You have something we didn't have back then...this blog. You are lucky to be able to have that to go back to when you are missing your time there. I hope you have an easy transition back home. This experience will always be with you. And I'm sure you and Dan will return for a visit!

  5. The rest of my group COSed this week so it's all nostalgic for me, and now you're getting ready to head home. So crazy.