Friday, August 31, 2012

End of my Peace Corps Journey..beginning of next..Destination Unknown..and POETRY

Well one year ended up being the length of my Peace Corps Journey. On August 24th I Early Terminated (ET'd) from Peace Corps and feel appreciative of the experience and delighted to be moving on...though it comes with some sadness of having to leave the special people I met over the last 12 months. Just before I left my computer was stolen from my hotel room in Kampala. So I lost most of my photos of this life milestone. However, the images are etched in my mind, and its all good and OK. Compared to the emotional devastation and poverty I witnessed, I know I am rich beyond measure and this is just a little inconvenience.

Below is a letter I sent to my classmates and it sums up my sentiments at this time.

Dear PCV Class of Aug friends
Yes I ET'd and its not a sad thing at all. So dont take my experience
to a negative was perfect for me.

My 1 year in Peace Corps was amazing in both it's depths of euphoria
and depression. In my soul I knew I had to come, and In my soul I knew
when I was finished and needed to leave.

I came to the conclusion that the universe was determined to make sure
I did not settle in to my Peace Corps "job". My sites were very
difficult ...resembling bad Ugandan soap operas, my experience with PC
Uganda were at times comical in their mishandling....even when they
tried to handle me well, my body was not cooperating, and my sister
had a family crises in the middle of all this. So an early exit was
the right course of action.

Because I never could get engaged in my work, I was forced to focus
inward and navel gaze a great deal of the time. I was blessed with
uncovering a new passion in writing poetry and given the luxury of
reading and learning more than I likely will ever be able to do again.
These activities occurred in the back drop of a 3rd world country and
left me with life long gifts of understanding and knowledge that were
just what I needed at this time in my life.

While in Uganda I made a few real Ugandan friends, and these are the
people I choose to remember as true Ugandans. The corrupt and lazy
discouraged me, but I know they are not representative of my Uganda.

As an added bonus, I also met some of the most talented, interesting
and selfless Americans. I have new daughters, sons, sisters and
brothers and I will cherish all of your unique and quirky ways long
into the future. Each of you showed me the world through a different
lens and expanded my life.

Try to nourish the noble parts of yourself and not let negativity
reduce your legacies. It is tough at times and we all stumble, but do
not succumb to bitterness and apathy. Each of us has seen beauty
shining through poverty and this has changed us forever.


I am now in Switzerland with my sister for two months before returning home to the USA. I can honestly say I love our country with all its blemishes and quirks, and for me, it is still the best place to live. Over the last 12 months I read a great deal of history and fell in love again with the principles our country was founded on. We must remain diligent in teaching these to each generation or we will end up losing our country to the illusion shown on"reality TV".


Timeout   August 11, 2012 
Sometimes its best
To put ourselves in timeout
To stop
To think
To take a deep breath
To avoid being rash
Following impulses
We likely would regret 

Timeout for Adults
Is more difficult to achieve
This requires one
To step away
From everything 
Most of us won’t do it
Walk out on career,
Home, family, parenthood
Our protected image
Checkout, withdraw
But I needed
To be in timeout 

For me it was
A bit extreme
I’m told I’m overly enthusiastic
However, I challenge the adjective overly
And accept the accusation
Of enthusiastic
I consider it part
Of my endearing charm
Something uniquely me
Graced from above
…But I digress 

My timeout
My year wandering in the wilderness
Took more effort
More courage
More learning
Than I imagined
What I learned is that
It was absolutely necessary
So I could be changed back
Into my essential self
Fall in love with me
My best true friend
Drop the duties
Required by guilt
That were destroying me
And my loved ones
One drop at a time 

The lessons I learned…
Quit the rat race – the rats win every time
Fall in love with yourself
You are not meant to conform to the mean
Change yourself – leave everyone else alone
Don’t buy what they sell on TV – Its Crap!
Be delighted with who and what you have
See the beauty and splendor of your loved ones
Discount their faults – the mirror reflects a glass house
Don’t write your story – it will write itself
…and it will end beautifully, if you let go
Of engineering the ending
The best part of life is the people – the rest is fluff
Without the blessing of a just and healthy civil society – its 100% harder 

Now I am ready
To return
From Timeout
My 12 months
Of navel gazing is complete
I’m ready to enthusiastically
Re-enter the arena
Changed back to
The better distilled version
Of me! 

She Awoke  August 11, 2012

She said I have to leave
Whether he understood or not
That her heart was imploding
And her mind was racing
In panicked uncontrolled directions
That she could not breathe easily
Or smile without breaking into a sweat

She laughed nervously
And said Really, I have to leave
And though she did not know why
Or where she was going
She left
Trusting the path would be illuminated
If she took the first step
To others she appeared disturbed
…And she was

With intention she left
Only sure that leaving was her salvation
And thus began her long walk through the desert
Life reduced to the bare essentials
Even less

Late at night
She faced herself without distraction
She listened and thought and prayed
And did it again
And again
Waiting for direction to be revealed

Until one day
She awoke
And the world seemed settled
And the turmoil was over
And she said I need to go home
And she knew exactly where that was

1 comment:

  1. Such a fantastic writer from the heart. I do not know you, but have followed your journey and thanks for sharing it all.