A Little “Peace” of Heaven: Close of Service

March 1-7 is Peace Corps Week. The Third Goal of Peace Corps is for volunteers to share their experiences after service. I’ve decided to share excerpts of emails I sent to family and friends during my life in Suriname (2004-06). Here is the final of 7 posts related to my Third Goal

July 1, 2006

Hello Everyone!

I have one week left in Suriname and then I head back to Iowa on 8 July. This will be my last mass email before I return to the States.

Today, July 1, is Keti Koti, Suriname’s Emancipation Day honoring freedom of slaves– my third Keti Koti, which means “Break the Chains,” … I’m planning to party it up later this evening with a couple friends for Keti Koti, though, with tonight’s agenda being a World Cup game between Spain and France.

In the village of Nieuw Lombe, along the Upper Suriname River (2004)

The rest of this week is filled with my Close of Service medical exams/paperwork,…packing and saying goodbye to my Suriname friends. Sur12, the new group, is in country, but I haven’t seen any of them, and I doubt I will before I leave as their training schedule is quite rigid.

After more than 2 years in Suriname, I can definitely say that Peace Corps has been an incredible, adventuresome, sometimes difficult and yet, worthwhile experience. I’ve grown in a lot of ways, matured, and hopefully become a better person. However, I know I’ll be somewhat jaded when I return about some family/friends/acquaintances’ views of our experiences, especially people WE HAVE NOT shared our lives with the past two years – a topic of conversation lately between me and my friend Troy. We’ve rolled our eyes at the prospect of hearing stupid questions/comments you can’t exactly answer/respond to in two sentences, like, “So, what was it like?,” “Did you feel safe?” or, my personal favorite to hate, “Oh, those poor people…”

Leatherback makes her way to Babunsanti to nest (2005)

The prospect of seeing family and friends is exciting, but not the prospect of being in America, especially knowing I won’t be returning to Suriname anytime soon. That might change once I move to Maine. But if anything, Peace Corps has made me more determined to seek out other volunteer/work projects overseas, especially in the area of conservation/education, and travel, experience and photograph as much as I can. There is so much out there we don’t know about and I want to learn about. The emails you’ve all received from me the past two years are only a glimpse of Suriname.



About accentphoto
Accent Photographics specializes in on-location baby, children and family photography, and special-event photography of weddings in eastern

One Response to A Little “Peace” of Heaven: Close of Service

  1. Aileen Wisk says:

    How often do you write your blogs? I enjoy them a lot

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