In January I attended the Close of Service Conference organized by Peace Corps Morocco staff in Rabat for all the Peace Corps volunteers in my group. The goals were to start to reflect on our service and prepare for life after the Peace Corps. After going over the many administrative tasks needed before leaving Morocco and the Peace Corps, we started to reflect on our almost two years of Peace Corps service. I shared I am really proud of the success of the grant in expanding programming for youth in the village and encouraging volunteerism. I also shared I have learned to be patient during the Peace Corps service. I am sure with time I will realize and be able to express in words how much I have learned and been changed from this experience.
One day returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) living in Rabat and working in various fields but many in the State Department came in and talked about their journeys after the Peace Corps. Their faces lit up telling stories about when they were Peace Corps volunteers. I could see how Peace Corps had influenced their entire lives; they had all decided to pursue international careers because of it.
I found the panel of RPCVs and another session on translating our service to resumes, CVs, and cover letters most helpful as I am currently applying to graduate school and jobs. We reviewed the many transferable skills we have acquired.
We also talked about reintegration into the US. The RPCVs said returning to the US was harder than leaving because you have changed but your family and friends haven’t. They also said many people did not take the time to listen to all their stories about Peace Corps. There are so many stories! I also want to tell everyone all of them!
The third goal of the Peace Corps is: “to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.” We got information on the many Returned Peace Corps volunteer organizations that bring together RPCVs to work on Peace Corps’s goal of world peace and friendship. I am looking forward to meeting other RPCVs, getting involved in their organization activities, and being a mini ambassador for Morocco in the US and Spain.
I am feeling anxious about the transition. I feel like my service has gone by so fast, and especially this second year. Finishing the Peace Corps and leaving Morocco will be a big change. I have become so comfortable in my small Moroccan village. I really enjoy all the work I have done here though I am ready to get more training and experience. Most of all, I will miss all my friends here. As I have said in other posts, the people in my village have really embraced me and I have embraced them. I know I will keep in touch through What’s app and Facebook and will return to visit sometime in the future.
In my last two months of service, I am trying to pass on the responsibility of programs and projects to Moroccan youth leaders and my site mate. Right now English club with Youssef at the youth vocational center and Life skills and leadership program with Noura at the girl’s boarding school are going strong. The Library club and Girl’s club are still new and need some more support though. I also look forward to spending the last couple of months with friends and eating my favorite Moroccan foods too. I am planning on visiting my amazing host family in Fez too and planning goodbye parties with lots of sweets and giving out photos and thank you cards.