Thursday, July 7, 2016

Two Years Have Come and Gone


             Two years have come and gone while I have been here in Madagascar.  My Stagemates and I have finally finished our TEFL requirements and have become the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers to graduate from the program and receive our certificates.  This two year mark was also, like all of the volunteers before us, was marked by attended our Close of Service Conference in Mantasoa.  Here was detailed the next steps for our last two months of service and the years to come. 
My conference, along with a handful of other volunteers, was slightly different than that of the others.  About a month ago I had applied for a one year extension with Peace Corps Madagascar as the Volunteer Leader for the north of the country.  I had just had my interview with the senior staff about my extension the day prior to going to the conference and there I waited for their response.  The sessions we all attended were the same; resume building, interview skills, job hunting, ext.  The
only session that differed was the one about our next steps.  Our list was much shorter, meaning our session was as well, than those leaving the country.  We didn’t have to close out our service and all that applies because we were merely extending it.  The meeting left us all a bit vexed, a feeling that lingered with us throughout the whole conference, because though we were in the extension session they were not able to tell us if we actually approved for extension or not.  It was not until a few days later, on the actual two year anniversary of being in country, that I finally received the offer to extend.