September 19, 2007

Last Day in the States

I remember filling out that initial Peace Corps application like it was a year ago. Well, it was actually one-and-a-half years ago--you know what they say, time flies.

So it finally comes down to our last day. Jillian turned in an epic performance with the suitcases. If there's a PC Macedonia award for Best Packed Volunteer (Couples Category), we are clearly the early favorites. In a shrink-wrap tour de force, Jillian transformed an unsightly pile of wrinkled clothing into a highly compartmentalized package. It's as if she put a bomb back together after it had gone off:

I know what you're thinking:
Are Jillian and Dan taking the space shuttle to Macedonia?

Yesterday we sold our last remaining major possession--the Honda. The buyer was an 18-year old girl who didn't seem too impressed by the car's fine condition, low price, and cleanliness and nearly balked at the deal because the car doesn't have rear speakers. She informed me that she would be installing a sub-woofer in the trunk (which is really roomy!), and, like, what happened to those rear speakers. Like, did I blow them out or something?

It was about at this point that her parents stepped in and talked some sense into her and so last night she drove off with arguably our last connection to the adult world. No sooner had those tail lights faded than Jillian and I took stock of our surrounding possessions and announced, "We're kids again." Except most kids have more gadgets than us.

So that's it: our bags are packed, we have no car and there's little left to do but sit around and get overly sentimental about our country and the greater Bangor area. We heard an ad on the radio yesterday: "If you've never been to Barnaby's, you're missing out!" Barnaby's is a depressing spot out by the airport frequented by the sorts of people last seen in Billy Joel's "Piano Man." But for a split second, I actually thought, You know, I never did make it out to Barnaby's. And it made me a little sad. And then I slapped myself across the face.

In some ways I'm reminded of our final hour in Seattle: we had some extra time walking back from breakfast and so we detoured a bit through downtown. Seattle was a city we had truly loved living in and watching the traffic and people move about the wide avenues on what was a sunny, warm day, I was struck by the feelings of departure. The transition felt so vivid--unlike past and future moves that really just felt like a pain in the ass.

That vividness is now returning, except this time it's so shrouded in anticipation and nervousness that it's hard tell what we're feeling. Even though today is not technically our last day in the country (we do have staging in D.C. this weekend), when the plane lifts off tomorrow at 6:45am, all of this is going to seem about four thousand miles away.

I will say this, though: you just can't beat the peace of mind you get living in or around Bangor. We can only hope Macedonia has such strict laws:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dan and Jillian, finaly received your blog and think it's the great.
Grandma and I look forward to each input. You have a wonderful oppotunity to serve others which is what this worlds needs more of.
Were especialy interested in your comments on your arrival at your final destation in Macedonia. We have been reading up on the information about this country, so as to be familiar with their culture. Love to you both Grandpa