After two and a half years in South Africa, I am leaving next month. While I am all kinds of sad and depressed one minute and crazed with joy and excitement the next, most bizarre to me is that people here just don't seem to get it. They keep telling me how much they'll miss me, then they try to load me up with work for the next term. I explain that I won't be here and then they beg me to extend my contract. I shake my head, they shake theirs and we settle at a kind of awkward impasse.
Part of the problem, of course, is me. I spent two years declaring I would leave in September, but September came and went and I'm still here. Since I obviously extended my contract once, people no doubt think it would be simple for me to do it again. As much as I would enjoy staying just a few more months, being granted a second extension is wildly unlikely and besides, I recognize the need for to start my "real" life. I have school to attend and a career to get started. I have a whole other life to get back to. As great as my experience has been here, that's all it's been, an experience. Fun, valuable and certainly educational, but it has to end. I understand that, I wish everyone else here did too.