Our time here is ending. In this arrangement. In this country. In our particular situations. Some of us are staying longer, some of us have already left. Somehow in the beginning it felt like this would last forever and now it feels like we just arrived yesterday. In one week I leave for the capital city to attend our Close of Service conference, which is a time for all second year Volunteers to come together one last time to reflect on our service, prepare for our departure and say goodbye to one another. In some ways two years really is an eternity, in Peace Corps some days never seem to end. In other ways two years it is the blink of an eye and some days never seem to last long enough.
I have begun counting down the moments I am with my sitemates, my colleagues, my friends. I am staying here in Mongolia an extra year as PCVL, but I will only be here in this city for another three months before I move to the capital. Three months seems shorter than four months somehow. At three months you can begin to count the last times: the last time you go hiking together, the last project you finish, the last class you teach, the last haircut you get and the last loads of laundry you wash. Maybe that's when it feels real to me, when I start knowing those are happening.
Then again, maybe that's just how my mind is used to looking at things. I look at the past and remember. I look at the future and wonder. More interesting, and something I do more rarely, is when I look at the present and I'm happy. I'm happy because I am surrounded by incredible people, wonderful work, amazing opportunities and a beautiful situation. Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about an ending, but appreciate every moment I have and live a life I am proud of today, tomorrow and the next day. After all, it only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.