October 19, 2002
Perhaps it is time to bring this online journal of our Peace Corps adventures to an end.† It has now been four months since our return to the U.S.† We will be leaving this site up indefinitely, since we still get e-mails from those who have visited this site.† Itís a little sad to close it . . . I think about many evenings spent in the stillness of our block apartment, trying to put to words what we were experiencing during our two-year Peace Corps experience.†
I remember the volunteer who served in my town, four years prior to our service.† She returned to Silistra for a visit during our service.† She promised to return for her studentsí graduation and she stayed true to her promise.† When I spoke with her, Kate and I were in the middle of our service.† She said that since she has returned, she thinks about her PC experience every day.† That seemed almost impossible to me and also a little strange.† But now that Iím back, Iím finding my mind involuntarily going back to places and people in Bulgaria that have become a part of my memory.† There are feelings that will always remain with me Ė arriving in Sofia on the overnight train from Silistra, walking through the crowd of my students on the front steps of the school into the school building in Silistra, the smell of burning coal, the subtle sounds of our block apartment and neighbors, and on and on (Iím not even mentioning all the other countries that we were able to visit!)† At the time they didnít seem like much and, even in the midst of those experiences, we pined for home many, many times.†
At this point, which is only four months since we returned and still far from really understanding what our two years in PC was about, I will say that Peace Corps Bulgaria has made us different people.† Iím still finding out how it has, though itís clear already that it has been a change for the better.† I think we did something worthwhile, while allowing this experience to change us.† We, and those we encountered, experienced an exchange of cultures.† Our former students feel more confident with their English language.†
Now weíre back home.† Close to family and friends.† Itís good to be home.† But when we look at a map of the world, we both agree that the part that we experienced was just a small portion of all thatís out there.† Thereís a lot more to explore . . .
Copyright 2000/01/02, Josh and Kate Miller.