We said goodbye to eleven of the twelve summer interns this past weekend, so we have only one left. Actually, last week was kind of a zoo around the office, so I find this lull fairly enjoyable. I'm sure our remaining intern is a bit lonely though...
Last week the "big boss" from FSD's San Francisco Office was here, which meant that there were extra meetings and check-ins, which seemed to be very productive. We also had to conduct eleven exit interviews and read through eight final reports and reconcile eight budgets. Wednesday was all planning for Thursday, and Thursday was a day of presentations. We invited all the interns and one supervisor from each of the organizations to join us for a look at what all the interns did this summer, and some discussion. It was really neat to see our partner organizations forming connections with each other and engaging with other interns about their work, either affirming the need or that the project was immensely valuable, or making contacts for future projects. It was also very rewarding to hear the interns talk about their work! They have had a very busy 8-9 weeks, and it is my very sincere hope that they also feel it was productive.
I have never liked goodbyes, so that part wasn't as fun, but it's life I guess. Plus it's time to start thinking about and planning for my own departure! Hard to believe but I only have three more days (after today) in the office, and then I'm done. Done! Whoa. (No, I don't plan on working at all after Friday.)
My flight out of Nairobi is next Monday evening, meaning that by this time next week, I'll be somewhere over the Atlantic. Ahh!
I've been trying to wrap my head around the fact that I'm going home, and while I'm thrilled to be able to see family and friends again, I'm a little freaked out by what happens next (and yes, I realize I've probably written about this). I'm realizing that I'm not especially excited about working a desk job, even if it is supporting programs in Africa. I like being on the ground. I love interacting with beneficiaries, and seeing and living this different way of life. I've been applying to jobs in Kenya and other parts of Africa in addition to the other positions in the States.
I've had one initial interview with an organization in Western Kenya and should hear back at some point this week about what happens next (if anything -- I so don't want to get my hopes up), and am waiting to confirm an interview time with another organization back in DC (it is super rare that I have any prospects, let alone two at the same time). Either one would be a great next step. Either would require a move out of my comfort zone. There are personal and professional pros and cons to both, of course, and I don't feel like I'm far enough along in either process to really start planning one way or another. It's overwhelming to have so much hanging in the balance of a week, especially when it's my last week here. Yikes.
In other news, I made pizza and wings with/for some friends last night for dinner! Dinner parties have always been a favorite -- I love cooking, especially with other people, and especially when other people have ovens and a kitchen big enough for two people! The dough was challenging as usual (I don't have my pizza expert roommate anymore), so I've made it a goal to get better at dealing with pizza dough. The sauce and toppings are usually no problem, but dough is another story. Buffalo chicken wings were a new thing for me as I'm not normally a huge meat eater, and I usually stay away from fried food, but they were amazing (despite the frightening volume of vegetable oil in which we fried them) and super messy, which I believe is a good sign.
So now it's Tuesday. My supervisor is out again (second day sick), and we have no power. My battery is at 48% and it's only 10am... if power doesn't come back, it could be a very short day in the office. For now I should get some work done... and more importantly, enjoy my last few days.
Looking forward to being back in MN so very soon!