This whole trip has been about finding, reclaiming, hiking, swimming, snorkeling my own true way through tears & laughter. Frankly, the last couple weeks – facing the realities of leaving Jamaica and the reality that ‘wherever I go there I am’- I have felt adrift. Some things have happened, or not happened, that reinvigorated some old fears and insecurities. The added discomfort of being so much an outsider, a discomfort I’ve had the privilege not to feel before to this degree, left me disoriented. As they always do, song lyrics have spoken to and for me*:

And, as they also always do, friends old and new, near and far, have rallied. I’ve met amazing new people. I had a much needed connection from home. And I realise that I have done, largely, what I came to do for myself and for this country I’ve come to love. I have grown. I have contributed. I have remembered who I am.

We came we saw we conquered and crumbled
In our own true way
We loved, we fought we rocked and we tumbled
In our own true way

The more time I spend with my Cuso mates whether they are volunteers or staff, the more I realise this song fits us all. My colleagues are big-hearted, courageous, committed, fun and talented people who have made a difference in Jamaica. I will miss them as much as I will miss this island. In six weeks or less each one of us will have moved on – one or two to non-Cuso lives here in Jamaica, some to new adventures in new lands, most back to our homes. What I wish for each of them, and for myself, is that where ever we land it be “in our own true way.”

* And yes, I will quit with the GBS music soon.