Armenia to Ethiopia: May 15

I am now officially a Returned Peace Corps volunteer. My flight left Yerevan at 4:50 a.m.

I am bone tired. I haven’t really slept, since Sunday. All the goodbyes, paperwork (signatures for the paperwork), and packing has drained me.

The good news is I’ve been down this road, a few times. I took this very same Yerevan-Athens-London flight, December of 2017. Today, everything felt familiar. Leaving felt as if I was going on holiday and returning to Armenia.

During the course of my service, I went to the UK 🇬🇧, UAE 🇦🇪, Sri Lanka 🇱🇰, and Tanzania 🇹🇿 and had layovers in Greece 🇬🇷, Qatar 🇶🇦, and Kenya 🇰🇪. If you remove the 2017 UK trip, the rest of the travel was done in 2018. Peace Corps allows 48 days of paid vacation, over the 27 months of service. Looking at all the locations, it might seems a little odd that a Peace Corps volunteer would travel so often.

If you dig deeper, it was all perfectly Peace Corps. Rebecca, RPCV Kenya, lives in the UK. I visited her, over Christmas. Nancy, RPCV Kenya, took a job in the UAE and her husband and son followed.

I also did a great deal of following Nancy, on trips to her UAE home, a Sri Lankan vacation, and a mini Peace Corps Kenya reunion, that began in the Turkish Airways Lounge, at the Nairobi airport, before moving to its final destination, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Larry, RPCV Kenya, also lives in the UAE. There will be more about him to come. Now that Nancy has moved back to the USA, I’ll need new “vacation” digs in the UAE.

All that to say, I spent part of my service, in Armenia, as a Peace Corps volunteer. I spent the rest, as a Returned PCV, still visiting and hanging out with my old Peace Corps cohort.

This coming June 14th, I will be face-to-face with my third cohort of Peace Corps volunteers. Who knows where I’ll end up going? All I know is my bags are ready! –GGT

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