Wow. It’s been a long time. Remember me?
I’m sorry for my prolonged absence. I can say, with complete sincerity, that I did not forget about this blog. I thought about it constantly – about all of the different things that I wanted to share with family and friends back home, as well as prospective Peace Corps volunteers who are stalking current volunteers’ blogs for information. The reason for my lack of updates hasn’t been laziness or neglect. I just haven’t felt as though I’ve been in the right…headspace…to really discuss my life here in Botswana.
As a few of you know, I haven’t been doing all that well. Botswana is wonderful; the country – the people and the culture are all great. Nevertheless, I’ve had some personal issues that I’ve been dealing with, the likes of which have been exacerbated by the fact that, professionally speaking, I’m pretty miserable. I like all (well, most) of the people that I work with, it’s just, ugh. I will not discuss this in depth on a public blog, but I will say that I’m not happy. The problem lies in the fact that, for many volunteers (including myself), most of our self-esteem as volunteers is a direct reflection of our professional accomplishments. I just feel…awful here. Like, all the time.
This has been exacerbated by a recent loss in my family. If you’ve poked around the different pages on this blog, you’ve probably seen how much I adore my grandfather. I even named this blog in his honor. On January 16, he passed away from pneumonia. I didn’t handle it well. Honestly, I’m not handling it well. Peace Corps was kind enough to grant me emergency leave and pay for my plane ticket back to the States so that I could attend his funeral and be with my family for two weeks.
That probably came as a surprise to most of you. I didn’t tell anyone that I was home. It’s not that I didn’t want to see my friends, because I do. I miss you all. Again, I just wasn’t in a good headspace to be social. I pretty much followed my mom around for two weeks and helped her get things ready for the funeral and sort out my grandfather’s assets and such. We also watched countless episodes of New Girl, Scandal, and Say Yes to the Dress. Please don’t be offended that I didn’t call you and ask to hang out. I wanted to see my friends, but at the same time, I just wanted to be alone and/or with my family.
I arrived back in Botswana on Saturday, February 2. I’m trying very hard to be positive, but this experience has thus far taught me that I can’t just will myself to be happy.
Still, I will not be leaving Botswana until my service is completed on June 12, 2014. I’ve made a commitment, and I plan to see it through. Also, because I’m a Master’s International student, my Peace Corps service is directly related to whether or not I will get my graduate degree. So even if I did decide to leave, I’d be jeopardizing my master’s degree and throwing away all of the money and hard work that I put into to getting that degree. Blah.
I hope to update this blog more often. Although the past few months have been difficult, there have been some bright spots, namely my Christmas and New Year’s vacation to Zambia. I promise to share stories and pictures from that trip in an upcoming entry.
Sorry that this entry has been so heavy. I hope that everyone is thus far enjoying 2013. Take care and please keep in touch.