Deep breath. This is my last Peace Corps update post. So many days I never thought I’d make it, but I did. And I am stronger for it.

I leave Bahir Dar Thursday morning and it is my time to go. After everything I have given Ethiopia, and it has given me in return, there is nothing better than knowing that it is enough, that I have given enough, and it is time.

When I was in Addis several weeks ago, all of my friends were leaving. All of G8 was in Addis preparing to COS (Close of Service) from this experience and leave. It was hard, sitting there listening to their excited chatter about how many shoes they managed to get rid of and how many bags of stuff they had, while I knew I still was here for another month. But now it’s my time. I am ready.


Several weeks ago I celebrated my THIRD Thanksgiving in country. The first year we had a lovely G8 Thanksgiving at our training hub and last year I went with about 8 other PCVs to the house of a US Embassy employee. This year, I got to have Thanksgiving dinner at the house of another US Embassy employee and Returned Peace Corps volunteer couple, and best of all, I got to have it with Ryan!

When we arrived at the house Thanksgiving afternoon, a fire was crackling and we could smell the dinner being prepared in the kitchen. It was a lovely day filled with family and good food and I’m so thankful I was able to be a part of it!

Lora Kathleen Thanksgivingthanksgiving2014

COS Trip


I am so thrilled to be heading off on the great adventure with Ryan starting NEXT WEEK! We are spending Christmas and New Year in India, then charting off on the course already planned. We have almost everything logistically figured out, now it’s just filling in the experience of being IN a place. I’m really excited for this adventure and hope you all come along for the ride!

Furthermore, I want to give a huge shoutout to Qatar Airways for their stopover and transit program. I have a 14+ hour layover in Doha and they are giving me a hotel for my layover! After all the trouble we had with Emirates, I wasn’t expecting much but the employees here in Ethiopia have been amazing. So thanks Qatar Airways, I’m really looking forward to my first flight with you!

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