It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that my contract in Lesotho ends next month—in 45 short days. It’s hard partly because I have no idea what I’ll do when I get back home, and also partly due to the truth that this is now my life. My home. And it’s all I know.
Even when I try to think of things to look forward to in America nothing comes to mind. Of course, seeing friends and family again is exciting, but I know that will be normal again after a few weeks. My routine of waking up in my all but quiet rondavel, brushing my teeth in a bucket, opening the door to the bright sun to go take my morning poop in my latrine, washing my hands in another bucket, and then taking a bath in yet another bucket seems so natural now. There’s a bucket for everything, it seems. It’ll be quite a change to wake up to the sounds of traffic or a police siren in the place of the donkeys and sheep that live in the corral next to my window in the mornings.
I couldn’t have prepared for everything PCVs told me before I got here no matter how many times they told me; it takes the experience itself to know. So, I’m prepared for another roller coaster of adjustment once I get back, as I’m being told and have experienced in the past. I have seen life through a new lens that will forever shape the future. What I’m trying to say is this: Two years is a long time. Think about what you were doing back in June 2014 and how much you’ve done since then. Most of my friends have moved to different places, gotten engaged or married, gotten pregnant or had a baby, bought a house, gotten a new job, finished school and so many other milestones in their lives. Equally, I’ve have major things happen in my life too since then! And after next month, I have to pack up and leave all of it behind. So many people; so many experiences. The cohort I came here with, other PCVs, my students, tons of friends I’ve met along the way, the Maseru poetry crew that I’ve grown way more from than they could ever know, Sam, and of course my family: Malika, Tšepo, Teboho, Mme, the brothers and all the cousins. Yoh! I’m feeling it just thinking of it all right now! What can I do to show people how much they mean to me? A brai sounds good. People love delicious food, but that’s something I do every month with my family. A card is nice but no words can describe how much people here mean to me. Some random gift feels the most fake to me too, because that’s kind of what we do when that distant relative that never comes around decides to show up for Christmas and you have to do something quickly. And half the time we don’t even like that relative anyways. So, what do I do? I’ll probably end up doing many of these things, but showing someone that they won’t just become a distant memory is difficult.
“The Best Way To Prepare For The Future Is To Take Care Of The Present.”
-Solid advice from the PC calendar that always know exactly how I’m feeling!
With this thought in mind, I’m going to try my hardest to focus on the relationships I’ve made here and cherish every minute with folks. That means trying to learn more about people, opening up more to people, and simply enjoying the presence of people’s company. A good friend of mine explained to me a few days ago how life is funny like this sometimes. We go all this time with something/someone constantly being present, but when the expiration date approaches we see all this goodness and happiness that we otherwise took for granted. I’m thankful that I foresaw this happening long ago and spent more time talking with people even when I didn’t want to, or sitting under my favorite tree even after it was cold, or going somewhere even when I knew I was tired. Bottom line, I feel that I’ve made the most of my time here and will continue to do so until the last possible moments. But no matter how much we do this, we still wish there was more time. I hope future Jody is satisfied with this!
Well, I gotta get back to my family.