The Close of Service (COS) Conference was held March 12 – 16, 2018 in Windhoek. COS Conference gives volunteers an opportunity to review their Peace Corps experience, figure out how to document skills and experience gained during service, prepare for re-integration to the States (or wherever they may go), and of course, celebrate the accomplishment of completing 2 years of service.
The week began with medical and language testing. Each volunteer has an annual dental exam and cleaning as well as a physical exam. This time around, our medical exam included a collection of stool samples to check for parasites. Peace Corps Volunteers get very comfortable about discussion bowel movements or the lack thereof. For some, this was quite a feat to accomplish in a mere 4 days. Luckily, I passed.
Besides a stubborn ringworm and the leftover Holi powder in my ears from our Holi celebration in early-March, I will be leaving Namibia in good health, a few pounds lighter and with a nice Namibian glow, which I jokingly said, “it’s the light at the end of the tunnel radiating off of me.”
I mostly try to avoid taking my Language Proficiency Interview (LPI). Learning Oshikwanyama has not been my favorite part of service. My friend, Ndamona, tutored me for a few months preceding my LPI, in the end, I’m leaving Namibia at an intermediate proficiency level and I am fine with that.
It is customary for the COSing group to present a gift or token of our appreciation to the Peace Corps staff. In the past, groups have presented items such as memory books, custom-made rugs, and other hand-crafted items.
Our group decided to build a cornhole set complete with handmade beanbags made with traditional materials. Our idea was to present a gift which staff and volunteers could both enjoy while helping to create a stronger partnership and culture at Peace Corps Namibia.
As my time in Namibia nears the end, I continue to reflect on the last two years: accomplishments, challenges, and growth.
I am positive about the future, and can’t wait to share what’s in store for Moving Wright Along.