Returning Home

My best friend from Peace Corps Thailand, Carly, not only chronicled Group 124s departure from one of the most tender journeys of my life, she had the courage and vulnerability to endure many tears, goodbyes, and see-you-soons with people she’d come to love. This is a post about the end of Peace Corps service. 2 years and 3 months. The most heart-wrenching, life-transforming, beautiful experiences we’ve been given. Carly is a PHENOMENAL photographer, so be sure to view the photos and share the tears. All my thanks to her for her love as a friend, and her enduring companionship throughout our service together.

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Peace Corps is hard. It’s really, really hard. The recruiting posters claim it’s the “toughest job you’ll ever love,” and until I spent a year in it, I thought the posters just sported a cheesy slogan targeting idealists like me. Turns out it’s absolutely true. It’s 27 months of relationship building, growth and challenges most volunteers probably never expect to encounter. Twenty-seven months of questioning your life choices and twenty-seven months of reaffirming them. And then it ends. I recently discovered that with all the challenges volunteers face during those 2 years, the most difficult one may very well be the goodbyes at the end of it all.

I am currently in Thailand Group 125, and last week Group 124 finished their service and returned home to America. I’m a year away from my own close of service (COS), so it was a strange experience watching the volunteers who helped…

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