Almost There

This week my roommate Olivia packed up and went home. We have been helping her pack for the past few days; although by helping I mean talking to her while she packs and watching movies with her when she wants to take a break. Though I still have three more weeks here in Laos, Olivia’s leaving makes me feel as though I am leaving soon too.

This has caused me to feel very conflicted because in one sense, I am excited to go home. I love the people I have met and the beautiful places we have visited in these past two months, but I have struggled somewhat with the food, the heat, and other comforts of home that I have been missing. Yesterday, I made a list of the foods that I will eat when I get home, including some Williamsburg favorites such as Duck Donuts and Cheese Shop. I am also imagining relaxing at home with my family and seeing my friends. Therefore, on the other hand, I am sad that I still have three more weeks until I can go home. I am sure when I actually get close to leaving, I will be wistful and somber about going home. However, for now, hearing Olivia talk about going shopping with her mom and sister when she goes home makes me wish I could go back as well.

Another thing that Liv has been doing is finishing her assignments. This has made me reflect on the work that I have been doing for the past seven to eight weeks and whether I have accomplished what I had hoped. Work on the trafficking trends research has been stalled this summer. As a result, I have been doing a lot of preliminary background research so that the consultant, who will eventually do the research, will have a foundation to start with. However, this week I was asked to create a questionnaire for different Trafficking in Persons agencies in Vientiane to ask them about their perspectives on new trafficking trends in Laos. I also received a few more assignments this week and I am worried about whether I will be able to close all my new projects by the end of this internship. There is an amazing feeling of satisfaction one gets when they have finished everything they were supposed to do and to move on to the next thing without any concerns about the past. That is one of the reasons I do not ask for extensions at school. I need hard deadlines so that I can be committed to working hard until the finish line.

I am past the halfway point so now I must analyze what will be my lasting impact. Have I completed every task I have been asked to finish? Was the work I did helpful and well-done? 

In all my internships, I put a lot of pressure on myself and I am always concerned that I am not doing enough or being helpful. So in these last two to three weeks, I will be reminding myself not to get stressed but also to make sure I am conscious of how I will go about finishing my work and ending my internship on a good night.