Well as hard as it is to believe, my two years of Peace Corps service have been completed, and I have to admit that it really hasn’t hit me that I am leaving tonight. Packing up and saying goodbye constantly for seemingly about a month has taken a pretty big toll emotionally. Couple those feelings with the inevitable challenges with dramatic transition, and you got yourself a big mess when trying to wrap things up and finally say goodbye for now to a lot of people who I have come to care about. I had a very positive experience in Paraguay and the adage you learn more from the people you’ve come to help than you teach them certainly seems true at this juncture.
I like to think that I used this blog primarily so people at home could see what I was doing, and how I was living. The more I wrote about in it the more I noticed a change in style from short anecdotes to larger themes about the culture, economy, and Paraguay in international contexts. Those small projects that I found myself involved tremendously enhanced my understanding of Paraguay in the larger contexts, and a better fostered personal understanding of how the country functions. Paraguay is a small poor country. The division of wealth is astronomically skewed, and the tides of globalization where omnipresent and incessantly expanding in the two short years I was here. I saw one President get overthrown, and another get elected in. I sat in on community meetings, and read a lot about Paraguay’s government and history. The spectrum of my experience is truly remarkable, and it kept me guessing at every juncture. Despite all the challenges this country still faces it still somehow manages to leave an indelible mark on the psyche of the people who spend time here, and I marvel at how happy people are despite not having many things I would’ve deemed essential before my arrival. A truly happy life isn’t one that is defined by material processions or individual achievements, but rather by the people you choose to share it with. If I have learned anything in my two years it how essential relationships are in making us complete human beings. I truly believe that if you surround yourself with loved ones who share common interests and help each other out than the path to a beautiful life has already been discovered. Time truly flies when you’re the happiest, and for me these two years went by in a breeze.
My plan is to continue writing as in this blog as I travel and transition back to the states, but I wanted to thank everyone who took the time to read even one entry. I found this blog to be a respite in a sometimes hectic lifestyle, and I truly appreciate the support and kind words I have received concerning my writing. Look for a new entry when I get back to the states on December 20th, so until then suerte!