Re-entry Guide for RPCVs who come home early
You’ve planned your life around serving in Peace Corps for years, spending countless hours putting together your application, reading about the location and local culture, and preparing for an amazing experience. And now, due to an unexpected illness or geopolitical instability, you’ve left early and suddenly find yourself back home.
First, know that all of your feelings are valid. Whether disappointment, regret from things you didn’t get to do or projects that weren’t completed or celebrated, sadness from missing friends you made and not being able to say goodbye, gratitude that you got to experience even just a little bit of what you had hoped, or maybe relief that you’re home and no longer battling illness, feeling multiple things at once as a reaction to an abrupt change is normal.
No matter how our service ended, we RPCVs here in North Carolina returned…some directly to jobs or graduate school, others through medical evacuation and eventual separation. Some things we’ll understand completely; other things are unique for you that we may never fully grasp. But we are here to be a sounding board, to mentor you, and to help you transition to what’s next.
Second, this may be an opportunity to reconsider your project in a different light:
· Is there a way you can contribute to you community partner or host organization from back home?
· Are there local entities doing similar work who could use an extra pair of hands (perhaps virtually)?
· How were you planning to bring this experience home anyway?