Wednesday, May 24, 2006
On Sunday our friend Michelle left the island. She came with our group in July of 2005 so her time wasn't up yet, instead she early terminated (et'd). She isn't the first person from our group, she is actually the 15th out of our original 62. Everyone has different reasons for leaving - health, frustration, boredom, and better opportunities back home. Before being here, back when I was anxiously awaiting Peace Corps, I could have never imagined coming and leaving before my time was up. In fact I hardly even knew that was a possibility. And considering all the time and effort put into applying and the many things you give up in preparation for Peace Corps it would seem crazy not to see it through. But once you are here and are actually part of the experience you can understand why people leave and you support them in their decisions because you know that they have made the best decision for them.
Of course we were sad to lose Michelle as she had become a very close friend, but we are also very happy for her because she is much happier now. However, we didn't let her leave without a proper send off. On Friday night we gathered at Christopher's, our favorite bar in Kingston, and then we went to dinner at the Mediterranean/Latin American restaurant down the road. This was followed by a slumber party at our house, what fun! On Saturday, Maggie, Anne and I went with her to Porty to pack up her things. That was when Jamaica gave her very own send off to Michelle - there was no electricity or running water in all of Porty! So we got to pack by lantern light, what a romantic way to spend your last night in Jamaica. We helpers made off with some good loot too since she could only leave with 2 bags. If anyone wants to have a Halloween party this year, I'm the girl to see as I was bequeathed two bags of decorations. All in all, we had a good time and made sure that as few tears as possible were shed.
p.s. We miss you already Michelle! Think about us often and be sure to feel guilty for living the good life!!!