Well folks, it looks like the hard work of hundreds of volunteers in Paraguay over the past 40+ years has finally paid off, and Allison and I are coming home! Peace Corps Paraguay made an unprecedented announcement today, and it looks as if our service in Paraguay is coming to a close much sooner than we expected.
For the past several months Peace Corps Paraguay has been conducting studies throughout the country to determine the effectiveness of the entire program using several key indicators such as agricultural production growth, unemployment rate, improvements in standardized test results, etc. Each and every indicator has shown improvement and enough of them to a level where Peace Corps and the Paraguayan government no longer feel it necessary to have Peace Corps’ continued involvement in the country.
It’s been a mixture of emotion for Allison and me as we’re torn between the excitement of going home and seeing our friends and family much sooner than expected and the disappointment of not being able to finish several projects in which we’re currently involved. And honestly, it’s hard to believe that it’s really happening, that we’re finishing up after not quite a year into our service.
A month from now, on May 1st, there will be a final closing ceremony in the capital city of Asunción for the Peace Corps Paraguay program, after which all volunteers will be released from service. The president of Paraguay is expected to attend the ceremony and hand each volunteer a key chain in the shape of Paraguay as a show of his country’s gratitude for the many years of service.
So mom, clear off a spot on the couch for Allison and me as we’ll be home before you know it, and hopefully just in time to watch the new season of Everybody Loves Raymond with you.