Is it coincidental that the end of my volunteer service with the peace corps lines up with thanksgiving? I want to reflect on the things i am thankful for, highlight major lessons learned and things that happened. Maybe in the near future, i will be able to do this, but right now, i cannot. I can bend my knee 100 degrees, make my way to the kitchen and slowly prepare something to eat. I have to stop and rest after a few minutes. My days consist of blood testing, physio therapy, the odd paper gathering and question asking. Worries about a visa, short-term health and my future are looming. My family can't wait for me to return, but i am less than excited. It's not what i planned, to break my leg and leave south africa before my time. Why am i upset?
I am staying in a cozy guest house with running water, helpful staff, other injured volunteers and free breakfast every day. I have all my medical needs taken care of, and even transportation provided by my organization. But i would trade it in a heartbeat for my house in the Kalahari with the tin roof, resident bat, harsh sun and wind, and batswana neighbors. My language barriers, overworked and undermotivated colleagues, lazy municipalities, lack of funding and physical challenges seem like a dream compared to this current life, with television and air conditioning.
I miss my weekend visits from my sweetheart, my daily visits from kids in the village, going to school to face whatever new challenges arose that week. I miss my friend in my village, the one person i could share secrets and my lunch with, and she could appreciate both.
I miss being a helpful, valuable asset to my communities, and my fellow peace corps volunteers. I guess that's what is so upsetting. Now, instead of helping lots of people do lots of different things, i can barely even help myself. I've never been so helpless or hopeless. It's hard to imagine being able to walk again, to not be apart from my sweetie, or what will happen in the next few days, even. But i'm trying. Life threw me a big curveball, and even though i tripped and fell, i try not to stay down for too long at one time.