It has now been one year since I returned from Guyana. Starting around mid-November, a few weeks ago, I began finding Guyana in my thoughts a lot more often than I had for the past year, though to be truthful my whole Peace Corps experience has come to mind in some capacity nearly every day. But the last few weeks have marked a sort of milestone; that is, one year since being "voluntarily sent home" from Peace Corps, and so it seems only logical that I'd be a little nostalgic.
So where am I right now? Let me start with that. I'm living in Honolulu, renting an apartment room on the cheap, and barely getting by while teaching at a local university. Jobs here are not easy to find, and so the struggle continues to find meaningful employment. I'm dating a girl I met online shortly before moving here. And I finally finished the novel I began while in Guyana just a few weeks ago.
I am being honest when I say I don't miss Peace Corps much, though I miss the people quite a bit. I got a few good stories out of it, and though sometimes I speak in a fond manner about the place and my time there, I also know I had some very hard times I wouldn't care to repeat. Time has the tendency to erase the memory of pain, and so it also has the tendency to erase the memory of discomfort and displeasure, or at least blur it so that one cannot remember exactly what was so unpleasant about a situation, at least not directly. I remember being unhappy; I don't remember how it felt. At any rate, I don't regret re-joining Peace Corps, and I don't regret accepting the Guyana assignment. I have no real regrets, surprisingly, including some of the "poor" judgment I exhibited. Poor, according to Peace Corps, but I still contend I didn't do anything that warranted being sent home. Maybe it wasn't the greatest decision-making in the world (after all, it nearly resulted in me being killed), but my reasons were very complex and not entirely in my control, so I cannot completely accept culpability. I'll discuss all that in another entry.
So the next few posts will serve as a way of doing those things I said I wanted to do last year: get some stuff off my chest, reminisce, educate/warn/excite future PCVs, and catalogue the extremely odd place that was New Amsterdam and Guyana in general. Readers of this blog have waited nearly a year to see anything added. I wouldn't expect a flood of material all at once, but I want to put this stuff out before my memory becomes too fuzzy and before it once more loses its relevance to my immediate life. These will probably be the last posts I do on this blog, though I might come back every once in a while to simply keep it active for a few years. Like all digital media, blogs have a transient nature; I've looked over many web pages and blogs from volunteers that, when I came back some time later, were simply gone with no record of their existence. Take what you can from this web site while it exists, because inevitably the data will be lost or corrupted or Blogger.com will go out of business, and it will be gone. Just like our own lives, I suppose. Alas.