I know my schedule for when I am actually leaving Africa has been a bit confusing (even to me!)… So for those of you out there who are wondering when in the world I am actually moving back to the United States, this blog is for you!
My FINAL date of work at USAID is October 5th…
Am I excited? YES! Am I sad? DOUBLE YES. This country has really become home to me over the past 6 months… a challenging home, but home regardless.
Then I trek up the length of Benin into Niger ( 646.5 miles) to visit my friend Caroline, in Niamey. But first visiting some of my favorite Peace Corps Volunteers in their more remote villages on the way up to Niger.
I have heard Niger is quite different from the more coastal Benin that I am used to. Dryer environment, more interesting animals (not that chickens and goats aren’t awesome or anything.) Also, unfortunately, Niger has been dealing with serious food shortage and famine, which is part of what my friend Caroline does there while working with Catholic Relief Services. But I am really looking forward to putting one more stamp on my passport and have heard great things from my friends who live there.
After a few days exploring a new country, I fly out of Niger on October 17th!
NIGER-> BURKINA FASO -> CASABLANCA->PARIS-> NYC.
Ugh.. long and way too many stops, but it was the cheapest option for me finally getting off this rock, so I am not complaining.
I can’t wait to see this view out of my window seat….
I will spend the next week apartment hunting with my new roommates (who I will also be meeting for the first time in person, we connected from my grad school’s website and they seem REALLY great!)
And of course, how could I be on the East Coast and NOT take a Bolt Bus down to my old stomping grounds in DC! It will have been almost two years since I have seen my friends and old neighborhood and cannot wait for this reunion.
Right around the very end of October, I am taking my final leg from DC to the Bay Area just in time to be with my family for Halloween! Since we have little one’s who still enjoy the trick-or-treating festivities, we are aiming for a group costume and dressing up as the Wizard of Oz cast. Who wants to take a guess on what I get to be…? (it was my first choice, and I am soooo excited about it.)
FLYING MONKEYS!!! Words can’t express my excitement about this.. I think it will be better than that time in college when i wrapped my body in foil and put a Land O’ Lakes butter box on my head.. (I was a baked potato.)
So that is the long term plan.. Even MORE exciting is the short term, because in… wait for it…
DAYS, I leave for a mini-adventure back to the states to stand next to two fabulous brides on their wedding day. (Side note, these are two separate brides, separate weddings, seperate parts of California..)
But I could NOT be more happy and honored to be a part of their special day!
California, here I come.. it’s the Final Countdown!