With just four months to go, there is a light at the end of this “dark continent” proverbial tunnel. (I must say, I think that’s a terrible nickname for Africa, and only appropriate in reference to the widespread lack of electricity and light pollution.) This light is the beacon of reliable electricity, heralding my return to the developed world. Throughout these two years, there have been days that Erica and I have thought this experience would never end, and that we’d be suffering with our cockroach infestation in Mozambique forever. There have been other days, eating tropical fruits and basking in the sun’s rays on one idyllic beach or another, that I’ve wished the days to lengthen and multiply. But although I’ve toyed with the idea, I’ve never considered extending my service another year; I started my Peace Corps application 47 months ago now, and it’s time for something new.
So as we lesson-plan, grade tests, organize Science Fair events, visit our up-and-running cultural center, and try to keep the cockroach population under control, we make plans for the future, and the focal point of our plans is entrance into graduate school. We are in South Africa right now for Erica to take the GRE and both of us are reveling in the luxury of fast, reliable internet and delighting in the ease of obtaining graduate school information that is otherwise a headache to access in Mozambique. I will be applying to Master’s of Public Health programs, getting my degree in the environmental sciences and global health departments. In the future, I’d like to work with issues of water supply and sanitation in developing countries. I am pretty darn excited. Water quality and availability have interested me since my junior semester abroad in Asia, and my experiences in Mozambique have turned that passing interest into a passion, after spending days without water where I forego a much-needed evening bath, turn a blind eye to a basin full of dirty dishes, and plan a dinner that would involve frying instead of boiling or steaming to conserve water. As far as I’m concerned, running water is the best thing since sliced bread (so to speak). And potable running water—well, that’s just too much for words. So, I’m narrowing down my school choices, working on my Statement of Purpose, and trying to figure out how to best execute the application process when I am always in Chimundo, the Chibuto suburb where you can’t even buy bread, let alone get online. It’s a work in progress (my applications and Chimundo).