Things are coming to an end. It’s a shame that it takes so long to get good at something that by the time you’re really ready, I mean really, get your teeth in there it’s time to leave. I feel like that. I’m at the top of my game with only 2 seconds left on the clock. Well, 2 months but you get the drift. I wasn’t terrible during my service so don’t get me wrong, but in hindsight I could have done even more. The end of service comes with many Schindler’s List moments. Why didn’t I know about and get the list of the 50 most used words in English to teach my host sisters last year instead of a week ago!? Why didn’t I start a Geography club? I could have been doing Life Skills lessons years ago (well, almost). There is always this huge learning curb in life, but how do you get ahead of it?
I remember seeing volunteers that were about to leave. I had only been in Gambia for a couple months and I thought “wow, they really look comfortable here. They have work, they know the language, their families love them, ect”. That isn’t something that happens in a day, and even if you know that, it’s hard to realize at the time that eventually, long long from that moment, you will be a volunteer on the verge of going home. You will know the language, you will know the answers, and your host family will love you (really love you).
New volunteers or those on your way, it’s hard, it’s awkward, it’s frustrating, but even if it takes to the 11th hour, eventually, you won’t be the odd one out, you’ll be the one their crying is on their way out.