I’m guessing most of you already know what I’m about to tell you, but I haven’t officially informed anyone or give any sort of statement, so I figured it was time. Everybody I know is just too aware of the world, I guess, and figures out information on their own, the sneaky little bastards. Anyway, Peace Corps has officially suspended its program in Kazakhstan. What does this mean? Well, as of 11:36 pm, Tuesday, November 29th, this means I am back in Missoula.
Woah, right? This was a very sudden thing for everyone, from volunteers on the ground to the country director, to the families in the US who love us, but weren’t expecting us quite yet. The program was suspended due to a combination of many complex factors, the largest of which was security and safety of volunteers, and the smallest, at least according to official reports, was political. Now don’t get too excited about that first one; I personally was safe for the entirety of my service. However, I was not the only volunteer in the country and some other people had issues. Altogether this was a difficult move for everyone, and absolutely shocking to me and everyone I’ve talked to, but in many ways it makes sense.
So, I’m home. Much earlier than expected. No, I have no major life plans yet, and I’m not in a big hurry to formulate any. Just going to decompress for awhile, process it all. I left Kazakhstan without much closure, so it will take a bit to figure out how I’m feeling about it all. I know I had a tendency to highlight the negative side of things, but the truth is that my life was there. My friends were there (though they are here too), my work was there, my students were there. I was a volunteer, that was my identity even on my bad days, and now I am not. So, I am happy to be home, to see my friends, family, and the haven of joy that is the bakery, but I am also very sad to have left so much behind. I had three days in which to get rid of/pack my things and say goodbye to the people in my community. It’s just going to take awhile to figure out what sort of impact that has on my life.
Thank you, those of you who kept with this blog. Maybe I’ll start something new soon, but don’t hold your breath. For now, this is the end, as Clara is no longer in ‘stan. I hope anyone who did read learned at least a little bit about a very large country that is so often overlooked by the world.
Peace Corps Out