Before they hatch. That’s how not to count your chickens. Don’t post it on Facebook. Don’t make any radical life changes. Nothing happens until it happens, and that’s especially true in Samoa. Long story short, my extension fell through and I won’t be in Samoa for a third year.
Don’t worry, this isn’t actually as disappointing as it sounds. Yes, it would have been an amazing opportunity, but I haven’t pinned all my hopes and dreams on this one chance since before I was born (which is what I did with Peace Corps. If I hadn’t been accepted to Peace Corps in the first place, I’m pretty sure I would have had to take an indefinite time out and go soul-searching until further notice). I was actually planning for something like that to happen until at least 5 or 10 years into my future, and I’m OK with reverting to the original plan. I’ve spent 9 out of the past 10 months planning to return to the States in December and stay there, and it’s been surprisingly easy to pick up where I left off. It simplifies a lot of things, including leaving my village. Instead of “it’s kinda good-bye but not really because I’m coming back but it won’t be the same,” it’s just plain old “good-bye.” I’m offloading 95% of my accumulated stuff and don’t have to worry about moving or storage. I can cut my hair without considering how easy it will be to put in a bun or braid. And I can start grad school in the fall (assuming I get accepted. Again, nothing happens til it happens). Not to mention I still get to go to New Zealand on the way home.
So. I’ll be arriving in LAX at 10:30am on December 15th, who’s coming to meet me?