Back to Reality

I’ve been really neglecting this blog, but the past two weeks have been such a whirlwind of activity that I haven’t really had time to sit and gather my thoughts. The heartbreak of leaving Georgetown, the events of Wisconsin, the closing of the program and the journey home have all been extremely overwhelming.

After two days of almost continuous sleep I’m still a bit jet-lagged, but I feel lucid enough to type out a post.

It’s 5:30 a.m. in Benghazi, Libya. The electricity has been going on and off since I arrived, due to repairs. We’re rebuilding the nation, remember? I’ve resumed my pace of life here quickly, and it almost feels like the MEPI program was a dream. But I look around my country and see everything that still needs to be done, and the motivation that ran through my veins during our time in the USA comes rushing back.

It no longer seems as daunting a task that it used to be. I have support now, from across the world. Didn’t we learn from our leadership retreats that a group is always stronger that an individual?

I miss my friends greatly at this moment. The separation of our group was difficult. It feels like ripping up your heart into pieces. Every hour another group would go, another hour of hugs and tears as we said goodbye to each other.

I didn’t get to see Faten, Ammar or Haneen when they went in the morning. Imagine my surprise when I woke up (when did I even fall asleep?) and found the time to be 6:15 a.m. I ran downstairs to the hotel lobby and found no one. They already left.

The next group was worse. Ikram, Mancef, Redouane, Tahar, Shimy, Lea, Randa and Fadwa all at once. I just had to look at Redouane and the tears would start flowing all over again.

Then Ghada, Rahma and Ahnar. God.

We were next, Mary and I, leaving behind Farah and Anwar. By that time we were all cried out. Then I gave Mary the Libyan flag and the water works started all over again.

And our mentors. And Catie.

Heartbreaking.

But not over. Not yet at least. In the words of Robert Frost,

“…I have promises to keep,

and miles to go before I sleep….” 

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