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It is officially my last week here in Madagascar, and as expected, it is bittersweet. I am so excited to go home and see my friends and family, but I am so sad to leave the friends that I have made here, the patients, and just Madagascar in general. I did an exit interview today and was asked about my time here, how I have been affected by my experience, and how I will deal with transitioning back to “normal life.”
The strange thing is, I never felt out of place since arriving to the ship. I felt like I just fell into place and took off running. I expected to feel homesick at the beginning but never did. With every assignment I have had, the first few weeks I am always homesick (even when I’m in the same state), but here I am on the other side of the world and in a sense I feel at home.
Transitioning back will definitely be a struggle, but at this point I can’t really see how much until I actually get home. I cannot begin to describe how my time here in Madagascar has affected me, partly because I don’t think I will fully understand the impact it has had as soon as I walk off the ship. It may take days, weeks, even years. I have had countless moments that I will never forget, like watching the teenage boy look in the mirror, giving Arlene hand lotion, Rosette holding my hands, reading Natacha’s note, and so many more. I will say that coming here I didn’t realize that as I was helping impact the lives of the people here in Madagascar, they would impact mine just as much if not more.
I am hoping these next few days will be just as amazing as I have been asked to donate blood for a patient having surgery tomorrow, and I will get to observe a surgery on Friday.