A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Future Looms

A few weeks ago I attended my Close Of Service (COS) conference. It was the last time my group would all be together in Uganda. Over the next several months we will begin packing up and leaving our communities. The conference was actually very difficult. I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster. We processed our last 2 years, talked about reverse culture shock, what America is like and going to be, how to get jobs, and how to keep Peace Corps alive in us as we move on with our lives. While it was all necessary, it was also very hard and scary. Who were we in America? Who are we now? How are we going to mesh those when we get back?

I still have no direction as to what to do next. I am considering extending my service for a third year but moving locations and jobs. I am also looking for jobs in Africa. I thought about grad school but am I ready for that after learning to be content staring at my cement wall over the last two years? And of course, there is always the moving back to America option. That is the scariest and least favorable option to me right now. But, who knows. I have a few more months to figure it all out. We shall see...


  1. I vote for the "move back to America" option. We can be neighbors!

  2. Amanda, I can't believe you've been over there for 2 years already and I can't imagine how difficult it will be transitioning to something else...especially if you come back to the States...TOTAL reverse culture shock!

    I had wanted to tell you a WHILE ago about a little incident from the summer but wasn't sure how to contact you so now that I found your blog, I thought this would be the perfect time. Last summer that family from CA came to Manchester again (the same one that I babysat for the summer after we graduated, remember?) and they rented a house up on Masconomo with a private beach (of course...). And it turns out that they shared the dock with the people who you used to house-sit for. When we were down on the dock one day we ran into the groundskeeper (whose name I can't remember right now) and he remembered you and all the parties that summer and everything. And he was still stoned. Gotta love him. But it made me think of you and that fun summer! Talk about cultural differences--Uganda vs. house-sitting and mansion-cleaning in Manchester!

    Anyhow, just wanted to share. Good luck with the upcoming decisions and transitions!

  3. Hi Amanda,

    I feel like I only just found out that you were in Africa and now you are deciding what to do at the end of your service there. Your Mom stopped by when she went to Boston this past spring and told us of your trip. I've been meaning to send you a care package ever since. Please let me know if you would still like one.

    Your decision is a tough one; you obviously love what you are doing and have embraced the culture. I remember coming home from England after a year and there was still culture shock from a country that is so closely related to ours. All I can say is pray, seek advise from your loved ones, and study the possibilities.

    Hannah is setting out for her own adventure on February 14th. She is going to New Zealand for a year at least on a work/holiday visa where she can work for 6 months, but must holiday for 6 months. Her hope is to get a job with the film production of The Hobbit. I'll have her write to you with the details.

    My dear Amanda, I'll keep you in my thoughts. Let me know if I can send you a care package.

    Love, Janis Clifton

  4. There is a corner in DC that is special to me. Every time I pass it, my eyes start to well up because it is where I stood the last time you spoke before you left for Africa. This was the conversation when I told you I would probably have a baby before you got back! And Behr is now 3 weeks old.

    I am excited to see where you go next. It will certainly be a challenge, as most changes are. If and when you are ready to return to the US, consider Washington DC. I would love to put you in touch with folks, if only to selfishly have you nearby!