It’s been about two and a half weeks since I last blogged. Nothing huge has happened, so I didn’t want to bore you with a dull post. I guess the biggest change has been how fast time is flying by! Now that it’s November, I feel as if I’ve crossed an invisible barrier. I think I’ve finally gotten into the groove and I’m feeling more confident than ever. I just can’t believe how fast time is moving and how close I am to returning home. Lately, I can’t decide if that’s a good or bad thing.
School is wrapping up, so I’ve been super busy with tests and papers. I now have one week left of classes! My frustration with the school hasn’t decreased whatsoever, but I think I’ve finally learned to just accept it. I got my religion test back last week and received an 80 (still an A by Botswana’s grading standards). The essay had about 15 checks and one comment: “good effort.” Let’s just say I wasn’t pleased. The same professor has also not shown up to the last three classes with no notice. Otherwise, I still haven’t gotten the majority of my assignments back. It stresses me out to think that I probably won’t know my grades by the time I leave. In psychology, we had to give group presentations on the effect of certain issues on adolescent development. I had a group of 6 (all local students) and I ended up doing 90% of the project by myself. My frustration was only amplified when I found out the majority of the grading was based on our appearance and level of enthusiasm rather than content. Also, I’ve had a mountain of papers due these past few weeks/in the next week, so I’ve been spending a pretty large amount of time researching and writing. I don’t mind too much though. I’ve actually discovered here that I enjoy writing much more than I ever knew. I’ve also knocked out a research project and video project in my CIEE class. It’s still a smaller workload than back at WKU, but I certainly haven’t been sitting around doing nothing. This week, I went to the Extension 2 clinic. I didn’t see too much that was new, but I got to witness some pretty nasty wounds and burns. Only one more week of clinics too!
These past three weekends, there weren’t any scheduled CIEE activities, so we had a lot of flexibility. With the insane heat and my body’s insistence on burning, it’s tempting to just stay in my house all day. Plus, I was sick again last week. But I’ve still pushed myself to get out to make sure I see everything I can before I return home. Two weekends ago, I ventured out to the biggest souvenir shop in Gabs with my friend Wendi. We also stumbled upon Oriental Plaza and we were able to find some Asian goodies. Last weekend, we celebrated Halloween! I was bummed about missing Halloween back home, but this year turned out to be one of the most memorable of my life. We hung out in the dorms and I even dressed up as a pumpkin J Friday night, there was a Diwali festival hosted at one of the Hindu temples. The Hindu population in Gabs is surprisingly large. There was awesome food and crafts and we were even able to look inside the temple (with our shoes off, of course). All of the Hindus were so friendly and it was so cool being able to learn about their religion without feeling like their beliefs were being pushed onto us. Saturday, I saw “We Are the Millers” and did homework at a coffee shop with friends. I ended up leaving my charger at the mall and my adaptor broke and blew the fuse in my house, so that was a bit of a stressful situation! Sunday I was able to get a new adaptor, so the crisis was averted. This weekend was pretty low-key, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Friday night, we had a braai at our director’s house and we all cooked different foods. Saturday, my friend Jess’s host family held a going away party in her honor because it was her last free weekend here in Gabs. The fact that we are now close enough to going home for a going away party to exist blows my mind.
Overall, I’m feeling pretty torn about coming home. There are definitely things I miss and for those reasons, I’m counting down the days until I set foot in the USA. It’s the simple things like sitting down with my family for dinner, feeling safe again, not cooking in a kitchen infested with flies, driving down the streets I’m so familiar with, my favorite foods, and having more than 10 shirts to choose from in the morning. But lately, I’ve started to see the things I’ll miss here. Mostly, I know it will be my friends. I imagine it will be like when I left GSP, but 1000 times worse. It hurts to think that I might never be able to see some of these people again. They’ve helped me to understand a lot of things about myself and have shown me the definition of a true friend. I’ve gotten so used to their constant presence that it’s actually become a little difficult to imagine life without them. How crazy is it that I’m a little nervous about returning home and transitioning back into my regular life? I’m not able to rejoin some of the activities I did freshmen year and I just think jumping in halfway through the year will prove to be challenging. I don’t even know where I’ll be living when I go back to school. I never imagined before I left that I would grow so comfortable here that I’d be nervous about returning to the place I love so much. I don’t necessarily enjoy a lot of things here (like my walk to the combi stop or cows holding up traffic), but these things are now apart of my life. Tomorrow marks one month until I hop on a plane home. I’ve never wanted time to slow down and hurry up so much at the same time!