…. Next week I will be in Bangkok for medical out processing i.e. blood, poop, and pee exams and my final interview with the Peace Corps staff. Then I am back to my village for about 3 weeks for good-byes. From there Rachel, my girlfriend, and I head out to casually make our way back home. Stopping in Cambodia, Nepal, India, Turkey, Morocco, and finally Spain before we fly home. Rachel was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco so we will return to see her friends and village. It will be a unique glimpse into a Muslim culture I would not have otherwise. We may even get to be a part of a nomadic caravan by camel. I hope they don’t spit on us, the camel’s not the nomads. It is really the trip of a lifetime and I am insanely lucky to get to do it with someone I care for so much.
There is still a lot of processing for me to do after 2 years, least of all my blood, poop, and pee, and I am still not certain what all actually took place. Military basic training broke me down to build me back up into a product. Peace Corps service just broke me down. I saw a glimpse of what was on the inside and was left to rebuild on my own. This place was difficult, much more difficult than I had anticipated and I am proud to have done it. The adage, “the more you know, the more you know you don’t know,” fits well, but I prefer my own take, “I know I am an idiot, and now I am starting to know why.”
It will also be fun to get back and see what you have been up to and what is planned next. I know you children and their trips leave you feeling a bit anxious, but that is part of the reason we do it… and this is possibly why…
The more secure a person feels at home the more likely he or she is to venture out boldly to explore new things. Or as Bowlby himself puts it, ‘All of us, from cradle to grave, are happiest when life is organized as a series of excursions, long or short, from the secure base provided by our attachment figure.” - David Brooks , The Social Animal
See, you loved us too much, it backfired and you gave us wings. A secure home with a loving family and community showed us a world that was safe and loving. So I guess that’s expected everywhere we go. We set out on our adventures confident and all warm and fuzzy from your thoughts and prayers.
Your love and support is a gift that allowed me to attempt my first unknown, come back to more love and support and head out again… and again… and again. Success would be very difficult in a strange environment without the caring I feel on the way out, when I’m there, and on my way back. The ingrained love and positive energy felt while here made it possible to keep going when I wanted to quit or even to step out of the house after a lonely night. My confidence came originally through your confidence in me. And I can assure you this confidence was tested daily.
So this was a letter of thanks for your constant support, love, thoughts and prayers.