Howdy folks. It’s been another nice month here. I hosted my very last volunteer group, celebrated my husband’s 29th birthday, and spent a long weekend at the lovely Chintsa Beach off the Wild Coast of South Africa. Winter is starting to creep into Lesotho which means crisp mornings, chilly evenings, and probably the start of winter power-cuts and cold showers. Joy. Lucky for me I won’t be here for the worst of it this year. Plagued with back-to-back winters upon arrival to Africa almost two years ago, I will now be blessed with back-to-back summers. At least I got one thing right!
I’ve mentioned previously that I am in the process of applying to graduate school which means that I’m heading out of here soon. Well, somehow ‘soon’ turned into ‘real soon’ which is now ‘just around the corner.’ My official departure date is just over a month away and I’ll be heading back to the US after more than 2 years out here in the beautiful Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. When asked if I feel ready to leave, I can confidently say YES. While I know the transition maybe tough and I will be sad to say goodbye to dear friends, I am definitely ready to move on and start the next chapter of my life.
So, what is the next chapter? As of now, I still don’t know exactly where the road ahead is taking me. Remember a few months ago, how I said that this feeling of not knowing is kind of exciting? Well, I take that back. It is not exciting. It’s stressful and scary for the most part. My husband and I submitted our applications before Thanksgiving (yes, I’m one of those students), yet we are still waiting to hear back from some schools. Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate that in the middle of an economic recession, grad schools would be inundated with more than 3x the number of applicants and that consequently the process would be more grueling and drawn out than ever. It gets a little more complicated when trying to do this all remotely and also when trying to coordinate schools, acceptances, and decisions with a spouse. Phew!
As I said, we’re still waiting for initial decisions from some of our schools, yet we are meant to confirm our choice in just 2 weeks! I wonder how that will work… eenie, meenie, miney, mo! To make the process just a little more fun, it seems as if some schools are just playing around with our heads. One school accepted me, then took it back, then accepted me again. Huh?!
Anyway, decisions or not, I have to move forward. In fact, I have already begun to pack up my life. I put in my notice at work, started selling household goods, and began planning a farewell bash. It’s time to move on and at the end of the day, even though this stage of the process is giving me some gray hairs, I am looking forward to what’s ahead for me. Wherever I end up, I will soon be in a classroom again, learning new things and growing as a professional. I will be meeting new people, seeing new places, and enjoying the perks of America again (somewhat decent drivers, lots of great food options, live music, the list goes on!) I will finally discover what marriage can be like when not dealing with everyday challenges of life in a developing country (ha!) I am also looking forward to being closer to family and friends again. I miss being able to pick up the phone and talk to my loved ones as often as I want.
Anyway, the road ahead may be unknown for now, but for the first time I’m not alone on this ride and I see good things ahead for us, however it all ends up.
Signed, the ever-optimistic, Fat Passport