It has been a busy week of packing, finishing up projects and saying goodbye. On Thursday night a few people met at the convent for some drinks to say goodbye. They had simply told me they had a “presentation” for me, but I was not prepared for what was yet to come. I’m not sure if you know this but I don’t really like being the center of attention. Actually it is really weird because I don’t mind it if I am speaking but if I am just being looked at I am very uncomfortable. I think that’s why I can’t get married. The marriage part would be no problem (ha, yeah right!) but I couldn’t do the wedding. Walking down that aisle (four times!) as a bridesmaid has been hard enough. Anyway, so when they handed me a bag on Thursday night and told me to go change I knew this was trouble.
In the bag was a brand new outfit that they had worked hard at the office to get made. Natalia had spent Wednesday going from the weaver where the cloth was made to my taylor where she sat all day prodding Vero to make the perfect outfit for me. So…..tada!
As I came down the stairs the group stood and clapped and proclaimed “how beautiful.” Oh my. This was followed by speeches by everyone at the table. So kind, but so not my comfort zone.
Yesterday I, of course, wore the outfit to work and had to say my goodbyes to everyone in Jirapa. It was a very weird feeling because I don’t yet have the excitement of going home and there is still a full month of transition time. I have really enjoyed Jirapa but also don’t feel like I was there long enough to make really close friends. So, mixed feeling about going but looking forward to the next phase. Tomorrow we head to Burkina Faso and I will begin my attempts to communicate in French. For three weeks. I am the expert in our group. Wonder what country we’ll end up in!
I don’t expect I will have internet very often so I will pass on my Merry Christmas and Happy New Year now. I hope you have a wonderful, relaxed holiday. See you in 2009!