Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Oh Babe I Hate to Go

I worked at a teacher training summer camp with some (of the best) Peace Corps Volunteers and on the "last" night there, we had a bonfire with all of the teachers and three guitars. We sang pop songs, old Ukrainian folk songs, and we forgot the words to a lot of half sung American folk songs. At the end of the night, after all of the teachers headed back to their rooms, a few Peace Corps Volunteers stayed behind to sing a couple more songs. We ended up singing "Leaving on a Jet Plane." This song used to bring me back to the moments after Thanksgiving dinner when my family would gather around the table after cleaning up to sing songs with Uncle Tom. Now, this song has another meaning for me. It didn't hit me until the next day, when a friend mentioned that he got teary-eyed when we were singing. "We're literally going to be leaving on a jet plane soon," he said. I almost cried.

With a little under four months left in Ukraine, I look at the roll of garbage bags and eight boxes of matches left in my kitchen and wonder if I'll even need to buy more.  Everything we do feels like our potential last time doing it--it might be the last time we see this person, walk that street, or sing that song together. I don't like "lasts" these days, and I hope that they aren't as real as they seem. I'm leaving on a jet plane, but who's to say I won't come back? And who's to say that all of the people that have had such an impact on me won't come and visit me in America?

Speaking of America, I'll be back there in December. I am so excited to see everyone, but at the same time, oh babe I hate to go.


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