Sunday, August 15, 2010

RPCV living in a Invitee world

As of August 6th I have been an RPCV. What does that mean you may ask?? It means that I have completed my service with Peace Corps Albania and am now back in America. Back in America trying not to offend every one that I meet with my Albanian mannerisms. Back in America being impressed by all the new gadgets that have come out in the past two and a half years that I have missed. Back in America trying to be American.

There's one difference in my situation from most RPCV's. I am only going to be in America for a month. On September 13th I will be leaving for Philadelphia, where I will meet my new training group before we leave for Morocco. It's a little funny for me this time around. I remember when I found out that I was invited to go to Albania. I spent most my time on Facebook asking current volunteers what Albania was like, what should I pack, what should I leave at home, talking to other invitees about what they were packing, what they were leaving at home. There's a group on Facebook for us going to Morocco this September. Reading their posts reminds me of what I went through before heading to Albania.

This time I didn't call the travel agency right after getting the information to book my tickets to Philadelphia. I'm not stressing out over what to pack and what to leave behind. I am not worried about learning the language or fitting into a different culture. I am still extremely excited to go and excited at all the projects that await me, the friends I will make, and the travels I will go on. This time around, I'm not nearly as naive or nervous. I know what to expect in general and I know that I can do it because I already did.

So for the next month I am going to enjoy my time with family and friends. I am going to drink lots of fancy coffees, eat different types of food, see as many movies as possible, take a million pictures and generally enjoy myself. I'm going to keep reading up on current Moroccan volunteers stories but I think I'm going to leave my expectations for my second service here in America and just enjoy the journey.

*****My former sitemates, Jen and Laura, sent me this link to a video they made after saying good-bye to me in Tirana. It's too cute not to share!!