I apologize for not writing in the last few months.they have been the busiest yet of my service. I spent most of June holding meetings with the village headmen, chiefs, and villagers to discuss starting a community library. In the end, the chiefs donated an unused building (one of the nicest in the whole village-tin roof, cement, 3 rooms) and we established a gender-balanced committee to oversee the library and volunteer as librarians. We built shelves and moved a few thousand books, magazines, and newspapers by bicycle and balancing boxes on our heads. These books were donated by the National Library of Malawi, Peace Corps, and mostly, YOU!!! As the weeks went on, we received more and more members-children, out of school youth, parents, and grandparents. For less than 50 cents, they can become a member of our library-Nkhumbwe Community Library- for a whole year. Believe it or not, some still have to pay in installments. Sometimes I go and read stories to the kids, sometimes I help organize books, and sometimes I just sit and observe. But it always makes my day.

Other than the community library, I have been busy getting my seniors ready to take their national exams (next week) and organizing all of my teaching notes and materials to hand over to my colleague when I leave in 60 days! My experience has really come full circle and everything I felt 2 years ago- the bittersweet goodbyes and anxiety about what is to come-has come back to me. I am applying to graduate school-environmental science programs- and thinking about job opportunities until that happens. My last 60 days are going a lot faster than the 843 days did, and I am trying to spend time with the people I have to say goodbye to and savor what time I have left here.

I attached some photos of my two favorite activities in the village: community library and art club. Thanks again to everyone who has sent books, art supplies, etc.as you can see, they have been put to phenomenal use.

Until next time-which may very well be when I am back on American soil,

Jessica