The one where Whitney says goodbye…

I hate goodbyes.

I have been in this beautifully-complicated country for about ten weeks now. During that time, I have taught lessons, ran English clubs and even conducted a workshop for teachers. Additionally, I have struggled with my Ukrainian and I have learned so much.

On Wednesday, I will no longer be a ‘trainee,’ I will swear in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, joining a worldwide family of like-minded individuals seeking to do some good in this messed up world.

If you’d like to see the ceremony aka me probably tripping on stage in my дуже нардні Ukrainian outfit, check out this link on Wednesday around 10 in Ukraine. (For those in Washington, that’s around midnight your time).

We had our goodbye dinner today and I’ve got one more day in this sleepy little village that I have grown to love. Sloboda was my first home in Ukraine. Natasha and Voldomir were my family. The kids at the school were my first students here. Everything about this adventure started here, but now it’s time to say goodbye.

And that sucks.

But, it’s great at the same time. I hardly recognize the girl I was when I lugged my suitcases off the bus in Sloboda ten weeks ago. She’s grown so much, learned so much and gotten to know so many people.

Beyond my students and the community members of this village, PST has given me an incredibly chance to get to know so many other incredible people who will stand next to me on stage when we swear in on Wednesday.

These people are genuine, smart and interesting. These are people that I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with if our lives had not brought us to Ukraine. These people started as random names and faces on facebook, turned into friends and have quickly become family. My cluster is incredible, even though we drive each other insane most of the time, I wouldn’t trade them for the world and everyone in Peace Corps Ukraine Group 50 has given me something beautiful to treasure.

We’ve shared some of the most incredible experiences and I know, no matter how scattered we are for the next two years, these people are friends for life. I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of them for the incredible work that we’ve done over the last ten weeks.

Good work guys. Now, let’s start the adventure.

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