Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Last Week as a PCRV - Part One

I knew that even with only a few appointments on the schedule that it would be a whirlwind week, and I was right! The whole six months has gone by fast, but this week more than most.

Monday was my last day in the office, and it was a busy one. I sent out thank-you notes for and pictures from the build, followed up on things from the exit conference, wrote to my World-Wise Schools class, dotted the is and crossed the t’s, wrote a nice farewell note to everyone at Habitat, and at the end of the day I walked around and said goodbye and hugged people. That’s it, no fanfare, no cake, no speeches. It’s a quiet office and I didn’t want a big deal and I didn’t get one.

It rained on Monday – after saying that it wasn’t going to rain anymore. And the electricity went out at home – I had given my candles away but at least I kept my flashlight handy. It did come back on at a reasonable hour, but I thought that wasn’t going to happen anymore either. I taped up my huge box and took the maps off the wall.

And then Tuesday the medical began. Dental first – no cavities. I walked to the Peace Corps office – nice along Manila Bay but then long and desolate after that. Got some of the administrative signatures and had a pretty thorough physical. Samples and tests of all sorts – they have an in-house lab and analysis, so no rushing samples to the lab as we did in Morocco. Totals for the week: no TB, no parasites, no extra pounds (but none lost, either). H1N1 shot, seasonal flu shot, voucher for a mammogram when I get back, malarial pills for my trip and then fourteen days of post-malaria pills to take when I get back to the states. With all the vaccinations in the past three years, I’m on a second WHO card.

Mary came back to the ‘hood with me. She experienced the MRT and then the walk over to my home – I had told her that I was walking while she was swimming every day, and she had a chance to experience my world. We walked back and ate at Shangri-La mall – a delightful dinner! I had debated moving to the pension to spend more time with Mary and Mercedes vs. staying in my own place until it was time to go. When we arrived we had an air-conditioned room to ourselves; at COS they put you in the fan-cooled dorm. I did not sleep well there during consolidation – and I decided I wouldn’t see much of Mary and Mercedes while we were sleeping anyway – so I decided to stay put.

Charlie is COSing this week too, so the four of us have been crossing paths. Drew left early, last month, and Jonathan is balancing him out by staying another month. Mary’s going to Vietnam for a week and a half (we’ll overlap for a day in Hanoi and maybe see each other). Charlie is traveling in the Philippines for a few weeks and leaves February 16 (I told him if he left on the 15th we could have quality time together on the way to Tokyo, but he was not swayed). Mercedes is the only person who didn’t change the flight Peace Corps gave us all – she’s leaving Saturday morning and going straight home.

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