These weeks go by fast, huh? Almost too fast. I'm wilting a little...
...under the weight of all the sorting, packing, moving, etc. Most of all, the emotional juggling is becoming more and more precarious. How am I supposed to balance the joy of what I have in my life here while preparing to leave it all? Thanksgiving was wonderful in all its hectic madness and undeniable familial bonds.
How can I be excited for my new endeavors in the face of possible dangers and discomforts? What IS going on in Turkey? How WILL it effect my safety in Central Asia, if at all? What does being AMERICAN mean to Muslim people, or everyone for that matter, in light of all the madness in the world? When neutral, peaceful aid workers are targetted, threatened, and attacked, all logic seems lost:
Maoist Fiat Forces Peace Corps Out
Rupandehi, November 18
Thirty American Peace Corps volunteers have been forced to leave the district following an ultimatum by an armed group of Maoists asking them to leave within six days.
The volunteers were running a temporary Peace Corps office at the Butwal Technical Institute (BIT), of the United Mission to Nepal, in Manigram VDC. It is said that the ultimatum was issued keeping in view Prachanda's hostile attitude towards the Americans.
The volunteers left for Narayangadh with no intention of returning.
The owner of a house where nearly a dozen volunteers had put up said the Americans had come to Butwal two and a half months ago and planned to stay for around two years.
The volunteers, who could communicate in Nepali, were studying the language in Manigram VDC-2 and 4. They also used to provide financial and technical assistance to the Aama groups.
Earlier there were 36 volunteers but of late only 30 of them had been staying including some women.
They used to visit Butwal, Shankarnagar, Kariya regularly and were planning to visit Pokhara, Siraha and Bara.
Commenting on the incident, SP Dhak Bahadur Karki of District Police Office said, “Though we had heard about the volunteers being asked to leave by the Maoists we have no idea whether they left due to the same reason.” He said the police might be able to gather more information when a team would visit the area soon.
Accepting that the volunteers had left the VDC, the manager of BTC, Bishnu Hari Devkota, said, “We did not ask them the reason for leaving and they did not tell us.”
According to him some remaining Nepali staff were also planning to leave the place tomorrow.
Oh yeah, I think I'm scheduled to leave two days sooner than I thought, on the 13th instead of the 15th of January. I'm noticing how two measely days are hitting me so hard, and makes 760 days of service seem like all eternity.