Looking at the blog for the first time in a while, I see it is time for the monthly post. This one, however, will be a bit different. We have now completed our Peace Corps assignment and are back in the US. July 24 was our last day. We were working very hard up until July 22, even working weekends, to finish up a project, so we didn't have much time to really reflect on our service until now.
It is different thinking about it from the states rather than in Jamaica. I am glad that I did it and if I had the opportunity I would definitely have made the same choice, although I will admit that I would hope for a different country. Jamaica isn't really any one's first choice for a country. It is a tourist country which makes it hard for people to understand our life there, which was much different. It is also difficult to travel around to other countries (almost all flights go to America, London, or Canada with a few others to Grand Caymans, Bahamas, and Cuba) which is one of the reasons we joined Peace Corps. Since Jamaica is so close to the US it feels a little bit like cheating too. You can duck out and head home if you want to at any time. Some volunteers went back 4-5 times. When you are living on the other side of the world you can't take a quick 5 day trip home.
I feel that I got a lot out of the experience and grew immensely as an individual. Jamaica can be a hard place. It can be dirty, hot, difficult and at the same time it can be beautiful and wonderful. I would not say our time was wonderful, but it was good. We worked hard and I know that we made a difference for a lot of people. The victories were peppered with failures and disappointment, but that is what helped me to grow as a person and to learn so much. Hopefully they will keep up the work now that we are gone. The want and the need is there, they just need a little motivation and assistance.
We now have a little bit of travel and visiting friends and relatives before starting our new jobs.