Well, the time has come to say goodbye to some of our dear friends who have serves their two years and are moving on to other things. Jackie and Cha Cha, two volunteers who are very close to me, planned one last weekend for us in Antsirabe, a town where a lot of us from the highlands spend time. It was also Jackie’s birthday, March 23, so we planned a little celebration for that as well. Cha Cha and Jackie are incredibly talented at creating theme parties (they were the ones who brought us “frippe prom”).
So our party theme was “derby days.” We decided to dress up as if we were going to the Kentucky Derby and go to a place called PMU, where you can bet on horse races happening in France while watching them on TV. So people had gloves, big hats, the whole nine yards. We even looked up how to make mint juleps and some people were smoking cigars. All in all, we are very good at theme parties. Then, as an added bonus for Jackie’s birthday, we rented a horse to take her from our hotel to PMU as a surprise. She was absolutely thrilled, which was so great to see.
It was really nice weekend, and really great to spend time all together for one last time. Close of service requires a week of exams and other activities, so it is spread out over a month. Each volunteer is assigned a week, so they leave throughout the month. So this really was our last time all together, since everyone is leaving at a different time.
I was very happy to get to know all of these people who are now leaving, and so proud of them. Looking forward to see where they go next. It will be very hard to let all of them go, but I know they will be happy moving forward with their lives. And their families will be happy to have them back!