As mentioned in a previous post, I made a trip down to Florida for a few days. This was my first time to return back to my home state in over a year. To be honest, I got a little emotional on the plane ride down. It brought me right back to my most recent plane rides- home from Africa and home from DC. Just being in an airport and on a plane again brought tears to my eyes, making me remember those first days and weeks of diagnosis.
Tuesday night brought more emotions, as I received hugs from my Peace Corps Recruiter, as well as good college friends. We sat down in a crowded auditorium to hear Director Williams speak. He started by asking those of us who have served as volunteers to stand. Yep, more tears in my eyes. At various time during his speech, the emotions welled back up. Its such an awkward and unsettling feeling- to somewhat feel like a volunteer and somewhat not… to feel like you are a part of this group, but at the same time to feel that something so huge has set you and your experience so far apart… to hear people say “Peace Corps changes your life forever” and to laugh at the irony of how it has changed my life forever.
The next night was my big night, my time to meet and speak to a group of future and returned volunteers. It was a small group, about 17 of us. I went through my story and answered questions. It was a good casual event, and I hope that it helped those who were there. Thanks Amy, for having me come down!