Last week I finished my Close of Service (COS) conference. It was three days of telling Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) how to bring our service to a close, what paperwork we need to turn in for the government to let us leave, what qualifies as medical clearance and giving us time to say goodbye to each other. Sure, we have essentially three months left in-country, BUT to see all PCVs from our group in one place is next to impossible so the conference is likely our one and only chance. We live spread out throughout the entire country, in various small sites (not always department) which are sometimes difficult to get to and we work several different jobs. So logistically, between work, paperwork for COS, saying goodbye to our respective sites and doing all the things we’ve planned to do before we leave Nicaragua, we won’t be seeing each other again.
COS was… draining. There are so many words that can describe it, but for me, it was overwhelming. I wasn’t emotional about saying goodbye. We celebrated every night via a PC Prom, Karaoke singing and hugs. The sessions were good and informative so I didn’t feel unprepared. It was just so much and to see a path to the end was relieving while simultaneously being overwhelming, BUT I’m thankful. I want to get home. I miss it so much, but I am not ready to say goodbye to my host family and leave Nicaragua behind.
All in all, the conference is an inevitable part of a volunteer’s service and it’s different for everyone. For me, it was overwhelming and I’m glad to be back in site, armed with all the information I need and ready to get to the finish line that I will cross in three months.
to this. 2 years made a real difference.