Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Lazy Days

Last Friday, I finished with my school duties and finished all of the goodbyes with students.  This week they are in the middle of finals too busy to say goodbye so it was good to finish those before their exams.  These days though every single day I have been having goodbye lunches and dinners with teachers and leaders.   
Through this four week process of saying goodbye to various people by having dinners, picnics, and hikes, I have learned that it isn't really about the goodbye and focusing on the thoughts that we probably will never see each other again, but it is more about spending one last moment with people, cherishing a laugh and a smile, sharing stories and food.  We never say goodbye even though it lurks in the shadows.  Instead, we are just saying, I like you and want to spend time with you.  Thank you for that.
I've been enjoying these lazy days of knitting funky red and purple socks, reading books, watching movies, slapping at mosquitoes, and cooking peach covered yogurt pancakes, using yogurt and baking soda to substitute for baking powder.
What no bike rides?  Yeah yeah...  I gave my smaller bike to my new sitemate who then let a student borrow it for the summer.  Caitlin gave her bike to a teacher, but the teacher has been studying in Xi'an.  I borrowed this bike for a year, and it was time to give it back.  I am without wheels and instead walked an hour to new campus.  I really dislike buses. 
My rice bags are packed.  I don't like that I have huge bags, more stuff than what I flew with to China, but what can one do?  When I came to China three years ago, I brought one fleece.  Now I have 2 homemade sweaters and a jacket, and several heavy pants.  Plus several Peace Corps books I forgot to return to the office during COS conference.
When am I leaving?  No idea!  I wanted to leave this weekend or sooner, like I could leave right now.  I am finished with my school duties and am packed and ready to go having finished all of my goodbyes.  What am I waiting for?  The official Chinese paperwork has not been signed nor submitted for my new volunteer position, so I am waiting for that approval before I can go.  It sort of feels like standfast in Guinea where I had to bike every day to a radio to find out if we were evacuating.  You spend day to day packed and ready to go, but not sure when.  Then one day boom, you get the message and it is time to leave. 
From the very first Peace Corps country I served in, I have been the learning the lesson that you can't control the events in your life.  Instead you just wait patiently and eventually something happens.  It all works out in the end.

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