Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ua Uma (I am Done)

So, somehow I finished my 2 year stint called the Peace Corps. I finished, I made it, I am done. Stick a fork in me.

There are so many emotions racing through my body and mind right now I can't even begin to describe them. All I can say is I am in New Zealand again for a night and to be quite honest, loving it. The beer is good, the people are friendly and stores are open late. :) I am sure it hasn't hit me yet that I really am done with my 2 years in Samoa. I am probably in shock and in vacation mode, but for now, it suits me and I am enjoying the start of my long trip back to America. I will miss some of the Peace Corps even more than I can imagine right now, and I have people who are closer than some family to me who will also be dearly missed.

To fill everyone up to date, I left the country today... or rather yesterday since I crossed the International Date Line. Laupama and her girls, Meaalofa and my Pastor and his wife all made it down to airport to see me off (and a guy from my village was also on the plane). Students were calling right up until I boarded on the plane... I will miss them alot, but thank goodness for cell phones... connecting people slowly, but surely one cell phone at a time around the world. I only cried a bit. Tim and Dylan hitched a ride with me to the airport and were dropped off at the wharf. I cried when I said goodbye to them and when I was sitting on the plane (briefly)... I am sure it will really hit me once I am back in the states for a few months and realize that life continues in Samoa with or without me, volunteers continue to hang out and have fun, my family continues with their daily day to day life even if I am not there... I will miss it all and I do look forward to going back someday (also visiting other returned volunteers around the states).

So, currently I am in Auckland. I arrived safe and sound. It helps I have been here before. I ended up getting a dorm with guys somehow, which is a little strange coming from Samoa... I keep thinking someone is going to say something. :) And they are going to hate me tomorrow morning when I have to get up before dawn to head back out to the airport. But, for now, I am having fun. Tokyo is going to be a bit of a shock coming from Samoa, but thankfully Anna will be at the airport to meet me, otherwise I might melt down... :)

Until next time, thanks for keeping in touch with me and following me in my adventures. I still can't believe 2 years went just like the blink of an eye...


At 3:51 AM, Blogger Brian said...

Hard to believe 2 years is already over! In some ways it seems as though it flew right by, and in other ways it seems as though it's been forever since we were racing down trails on our mountain bikes. Can't wait to see you!

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Justin N said...

Didn't get make it to the fair well the other night. Have a good time on your travels. See you again sometime.

At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Cousin Tom said...


Your growth during this time has amazed me. Your blog has been a joy to follow from the earliest ramblings to the latest words, most thoughtful and mature in perspective.

Envy, comes to mind in describing my feelings. Envy that these tools were not available for documenting my time in Denmark. Envy of the ease at which maintaining communication with those you have bonded with during this time will be.

As melancholy as your days ahead may become from time to time I am sure that you will find comfort in the knowledge that the lifelong friends that you have made WILL keep you in their hearts and minds. That you WILL continue to share your lives with each other in a way that you can only hope for at this time is certain.

The closest connection of my Danish friends, a young woman I nearly remained in Demark to marry, is to this day my close and most distant friend. Although we lost touch for many years we have reconnected, made possible with today's technology. With the boundaries of distance comes an immense joy when the times come that we share an hour of Instant Messaging or an exchange of nearly real-time e-mail.

It is certain that you have made many friends from across the globe and around the country that you have (mutually) touched in ways that you are yet to discover.

Your happiest memories of the past two years have yet to rise to the surface. Your memories will evolve much like the islands upon which you have lived, rising ever so slowly from the depths of your being, driven by an unstoppable force to break through the surface and begin a new growth that will flourish with a beauty you can only fantasize of until it stands before you.

Enjoy your journey HOME, bask in the rewards you deserve for your efforts. This is just the beginning of the next adventure in your life.


Cousin Tom

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Christi said...

What an awesome, awesome experience Julya. And now you can say "HA!" to all those who didn't think you would make it :)
Have fun traveling back home and enjoy the well desired vacation. I will see you at the airport!

And I know I can believe it has been over two years, because my hair is so stinking long! :)


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