Friday, April 22, 2011

Mission Complete

My Peace Corps service closed on April 19, 2011.
I am not sure what to say, these two years have thrown more at me that I could have expected. I've learned more and completed more than I knew I was capable. Going through my photos from my first year of service alone I could see the growth in me. I have eaten things I didn't know were eatable! I was taught new techniques for making food and surviving on an island.

As I return home to family and friends anxiously awaiting my arrival I become full of mixed emotions. Of course I am ecstatic to see everyone and be in a place I know so well again. However, the experienced gained in my service has changed me forever. As a speaker recently stated, those who serve in the Peace corps return home with a "third eye". We have opened our minds and eyes so much that all we knew before we left on our mission has a different feel, a new look. To watch people of a foreign culture talk, dress, act and live differently among you for two years it is suddenly your own "norm". I am in awe some days looking back and realizing what I did; the challenges I worked through, high adventures I participated in and the simplicity of giving up years of my "normal" life to take on this mission.

I am so blessed to have had this opportunity to gain these lessons and life changing events. I will forever be a new and improved Julie thanks to the Peace Corps and the individuals who touched my life while I was abroad. Many thanks (more than words could possibly say) to those back home who supported me through it all and were with me every step of the way!

Mission Complete.

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