My replacement volunteer arrived at my site two days ago. She is living with a family that I and the school director set her up with. Her name is Rebecca. She is a redhead so she will probably get more catcalls than me. Thank God.
Having the new volunteer in my site reminds me of when I came two years ago. The first day, she looked as overwhelmed as I felt then. And seeing the world through her eyes has made me realize how much my Spanish has improved and how much I've integrated into the community. Every time we passed someone on the street, I knew that person's name, who they were related to and some other bits of information. I remember going through the same thing two years ago, with Suzanne giving me everyone's life story, and thinking I would never learn as much about these people as she had.
Rebecca seems to love our site. As she should, because it is beautiful. Even compared to the rest of El Salvador. And her host mom is giving her fresh squeezed orange juice every day, which I don't even get.
Funny, I complain about my site a lot, but having Rebecca here makes me like it more. People who I stopped talking to very often have grown warm and interested again. I get invited to events and told to bring the new gringa.
This is my last full week in my site. I will be travelling nearly all of next week, then back and forth to San Salvador doing administrative stuff.
Sometimes I think about packing, or getting rid of my stuff, or my goodbye party...and every time, I decide to ignore these things until the last possible moment, because I just can't get my head around it.
Paz y amor.
3 months ago