"At the center of the universe is a loving heart that continues to beat and that wants the best for every person. Anything we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings, that is our job. Those of us who have this particular vision must continue against all odds. Life is for service." ~Mr. Fred Rogers

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Close of Service

Final day as a Peace Corps Volunteer!

How do you wrap-up a dream come true? Most of you know the story -- 9 year-old Ben writes to a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal and a dream is born. Fast forward a few years and Kolky is that dream come true. Well, today was the day. Today, I rang my "last bell" and finished one of the best, hardest, most rewarding and most amazing adventures of these 25 years. To say the least, I've certainly experienced Ukraine and now I'm a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer!

So many emotions ringing that bell! 

From reading this blog over the years, this 33-month Peace Corps journey has been nothing short of amazing. Ukraine, especially Kolky, has given me one of the greatest, most intangible and precious gifts ever given to me. They will never know the impact they have had on my mind and heart, but I know and sometimes that just has to be enough. 

But how does it just stop? Am I just supposed to move on? I guess you travel to new foreign places and eat a lot of Mexican food stateside -- I'll be doing that. I guess you cry when saying goodbye to new family and cry reuniting with the ones you left -- I'll certainly being doing that. I guess it's time for me to figure it out, taking what I've learned here and continuing to share the love that was Kolky and Peace Corps Ukraine. And of course, visit again and again. It doesn't stop, because the lessons learned, the memories made, and the amazing relationships established will certainly last a lifetime. 

My two favorite countries and cake, combined!

This is my last day as a PCV, but this isn't my post, because I will have more to share. I'll be posting about my Poland/Germany trip with the delegation from my school, some of my travels throughout the Balkans, and for sure some readjustment stories as a RPCV. 

For now, I say thanks for reading and for all the love and support. I've been incredibly blessed these years to know so many people were rooting and praying for me from both near and far away. I'm so looking forward to reconnecting with everybody and seeing what the future has in store! 

As a wise President once said, "What's next?"


  1. Hi Benjamin,

    I am Victoria from www.funkyukrainian.com and would like to offer you a 6-month subscription to our Ukrainian online course in exchange for
    a short post with a link back to our website.

    I couldn't find your email so please write to me at info@funkyukrainian.com

    Thank you,

  2. Hi Ben, I'd love to get in touch with you as I have a few questions about service in Ukraine.. please let me know how I can do this..

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