There were times I thought this day would never come, but after 1,134 days in Panama, I'm finally home! I COS'ed (Close of Service) last Thursday, August 11, and am now officially a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
Since I had already transitioned out of my community and into a more developed site for my third year extension, I mistakenly underestimated the emotions I would be experiencing during my last week in Panama.
On one hand, I was ecstatic for leaving Panama and moving on- I was going to have a few weeks off for much needed family time, and I'd also be buying a computer and car before moving to an awesome city to start an incredible job. On the other, I was leaving a country that had become home to me. I love speaking Spanish everyday, buying cheap street food, traveling for work, and being a part of the amazing work that Peace Corps does in Panama.
Atlanta will be great and my new job will be great, but it won't be anything like Peace Corps.