Yesterday, I sent off my graduate school applications to my European schools of choice. Today, I feel free for the first time in a while to think about updating this neglected blog. Even though I still have three more applications to sent for American schools, having done those three felt like a major step forward - this is really happening, the next step is not just a cloud of ideas in my head.
Recently, I've been in more frequent contact with those French friends who made my first three months at post such wonderful bliss. I've been thinking back on those times a lot as of late - they were carefree, exciting, and the connections I had with that particular group of friends were so immediate and intense that even a year later, the memories are still fresh in my mind. I thought perhaps I am feeling nostalgic because now a year later, I am still in the same place, but with less magic happening in my daily life. However, in the past few weeks, conversations with Juliette and Gary have proved that I am not the only one reminiscing that period in time.
With just a little over 8 months left of my service, I am at a strange place. Things on the work front are going relatively well. I have plenty of tasks to accomplish during my remaining time in this country. Socially, while I am no longer having fantastic parties or going on wild adventures, memories are still being created via the daily village life. Some days are still lonely, and dull. But I am attempting my best to soak in each present moment, and take it for what it's worth.
The future is fast approaching. I have applied or am applying to six graduate programs, three in the U.S. and three in Europe. If all these fine institutions accept me, I will have the opportunity to spend the next two years in either Paris, London, New York, Bologna/D.C. or New Have, CT. And let's all cross our fingers and pray at least one of these fine schools will grant me acceptance, if for nothing else, that they take pity upon the fact I just spent two years living without running water. I've decided to take the "go big, or go home" route, and in a very literal sense. None of my schools is a "back-up", so either I get into one, or I go home and live with my parents in St. Louis... oh my god...
On this November day, I reminiscent on this past year in Cameroon with nostalgia, appreciate life in the present with gratitude, and look forward to the future with great anticipation.