My service is officially over. Today I finished the formalities with the Peace Corps and added an R to the front of my previous label as PCV. Now, I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. 

Rather than returning home directly though, I will be making a few stopovers along the way. My itinerary includes Spain, Morocco, France, and Iceland before I return to the US in October. I will post more about those interim travels as they happen but in this post I decided to take a look back and reflect on my service.

The past two years seems to have passed in a dream. It is just hard to tell if I was taking a cat nap or was trapped in a decade long coma. It is impossible to decipher everything that happened here. In the past two years I experienced some of my highest highs and equally my lowest lows.

Moreover, I did things I did not know I could and others I never imagined. Not only did I travel abroad for the first time; I learned a new language, gained lots of personal and professional skills and even got into the best shape of my life.

I do not think there is a good way to qualify it all. Instead, I opted to quantify my time in Togo by following the model of Matador U’s “by the numbers” articles. Here are the highlights:

Amount of time in Togo
27 months, 20 days
Vacations taken
# of sick days spent in Med-Unit
Care packages received
≈ 10
Average amount spent per week
< $5
Togolese currency (fCFA) to USD
≈ 500
Wild/exotic animals seen in Togo
0 ; farm animals do not count
# of incoming PCVs in August 2011
# of outgoing PCVs from the same group
Time to travel from my site to the capital
10 hours
Distance from my site to the capital
254 miles
# of cities visited in Togo (overnight trips)
> 12
# of overnight PCV visitors to my house
> 16
Average daily # of visits from community members
Marriage proposals
# of photos taken
> 5,000
Books read
Weight lost
40 pounds