Peace Corps keeps us in a bubble. It’s almost like middle school. You can’t drive, you have to tell someone everywhere you go and you have to be home before dark. Those of us who are younger may have our parents to help us when we get home from Peace Corps. Many older volunteers don’t even have that. But parents or not, leaving Peace Corps is daunting. We’ve had health insurance and a paycheck covered for two years. We haven’t had to worry about car payments, life insurance, or repayment of student loans. Coming to Peace Corps wasn’t like moving the next state over. Many of us sold personal possessions, some even cars and houses. Some of us aren’t even sure where we are going to spend our first nights after Peace Corps.
Luckily I don’t have that problem. I know where I will be staying in Gaborone for at least my first few weeks after closing my service. I don’t have a job yet, but I have been talking with a few companies and organizations. I am confident that something is going to work out. And I am shopping for a car. A lot is still up in the air and probably will be for most of the month of June. But I feel such a sense of awe and excitement.
Peace Corps volunteers in Botswana will tell you that we watch a lot of movies and television. It passes the time and it’s nice to catch up on shows you may have missed. I have spent the last few weeks watching “Boy Meets World,” one of my favorite shows growing up. At this point, Cory and Topanga have just gotten married. They hate their apartment. It’s a dump. And they go crying to their parents for help, complaining about bad plumbing and bugs. We have all done that at some point, but I am happy to say that I am doing this on my own. My parents may still have to help me with some things, like health insurance. I’m not sure. But I do know that I am getting my own car, my own job and my own place to stay. I did this before Peace Corps as well, for the year after college. But that was in Providence, where I attended Brown.
This is different. This is new. No more Peace Corps watching my back. No more parents an hour’s drive away. Real life. Adulthood. Wow.