The other day I got lost walking around in a wealthy neighborhood in Managua trying to find a private school. When I finally found the school, I had a successful meeting with the director about a possible collaboration between the school and the library network I'm trying to develop. She had the idea of an interchange where students learning to read from this school each bring a book to the library and read to students there and then donate a book at the end. The meeting made me very aware of how little time I have left in Nicaragua because we were looking at dates, and when she mentioned June, I felt shocked that I wouldn't be here.
Although there have been some things happening lately that have made me looking forward to going back home--being harassed by six guys on bikes, having at least 3 Nicaraguan professionals not call to cancel a meeting and leaving me feeling rather foolish when I arrive for the meeting, the intense April heat, getting an apartment in Seattle with Ben, my trouble communicating at times despite speaking in Spanish for 8 months--I'm sad to be leaving soon. I feel it more acutely working in community development because building community takes time and it feels sort of unfair that I can come for 10 months and then go back and resume my life "as normal". When I tell Nicaraguans I'm leaving in June, everyone asks me if I'm planning to return. The answer is "yes," but only for vacation (unless in 5-10 years I have the opportunity to return). People understand, but I always feel a little like I'm letting them down: I'm just another foreigner who came for a short time wanting to "help people". I don't want to sound too cynical, though, because I love the time I've spent here and the people I've met and the experiences that have made me grown stronger.
Back to the job search...the less fun part about returning home. (If anyone knows of a job in community development or education in Seattle, send the opportunity on!)