Right before I left, a coworker said “you’ll know. You’ll know in a year if you’ll be ready to come back or not.”
I could have told her then, and with certainty, that I wasn’t going to be ready. And, sure enough, as the months in Botswana ticked by, I was less and less pleased with the idea of going home. Part of it was the fact that I finally got my feet under me sometime in March. Part of it – most of it – was that I have many projects up in the air, not the least of which is my work with five MA students, who I very much want to see graduate.
Part of it – and I hate to admit this – was the fact that I just wasn’t ready. I wanted more and more and more.
Lucky me. We’re staying another year.
For those of us on teaching grants, Fulbright allows for a renewal – taking into account, I think, situations like the one in which I find myself with my graduate students. I applied for a renewal five days before the deadline and found out in late April that it had been approved.
So. We’re in Botswana for another year. We’re glad. Between now and then, I’ll work on graduating students, prepping classes (the department, understaffed and bursting at the seams with students, was thrilled to hand me five classes next semester. I was thrilled to take them), and experiencing as much as I can of Botswana.
I can already tell, with certainty, that I’ll be much more ready to go home this time next May.
Then again, maybe not.