Leaving My Home

            After two years of service in Madagascar I am going home to the States, Texas to be exact, for the first time since I left 27 months ago.  I have extended my service with the Peace Corps for another year and as such they are sending me home for a month of home leave.  It is still bitter sweet to say the least.  My extension will be in Diego, the far north of the island, and so my service in Vondrozo and my beloved region has come to an end.  

            The months leading up to my departure were no different than what I had been experiencing my whole service.  The fact that I was actually leaving did not really set in till just a few weeks before I left. I finally had that feeling that I was about to leave a life behind that had spent two years creating; my home, my friends, this beautiful place I lived, everything that I grown to love about my site.

My last two weeks in Vondrozo were spent in what seemed like a rush as I hastened to complete the many tasks I had laid before me.  The first week was spent was spent all in goodbyes.  In custom I had to walk to the different offices of the lehibe (a person in position of power) in town to explain to them that my service had come to an end and I had to leave.  Coupled with this were the seemingly never ending going away parties with people in community.  Although most of these were spur of the moment, as people saw me the street, I did have an official going away party for the teachers and me at my school.  
Chef de District


Some of the teachers at my going away party.

The second week was much less fun and was far more hectic.  Though there were still a few individual going away parties with a few of my friends, most of my time was spent packing and cleaning out my house.  Since I was not being replaced by a new volunteer I had to close down my house.  This meant giving everything away that I was not taking with me.  For weeks people had been asking me for a “souvenir” and now had come the stressful time of deciding what to give each person.  For a few of my closest friends I had already decided what I would give them but for everyone else I decided, poorly I should state, to have an open house policy where people just came in and took what they wanted.  This turned into a chaotic frenzy of people in my house.  
My house once it was cleared out.
My final day was spent in travel to my banking town where I would start my transit to my new life.  There is unfortunately no moving company where I live so I had to maneuver my way through the different types of transportation options I could find. First traveling in a cameon, then hiring a fleet of carts to carry my things, and finally traveling in a brousse to Tana.  

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