Thank you, everyone!

UPDATE: Just to clarify on something, the ex and I talked about the blog issue and everything was resolved. I appreciated the conversation and understood why he said some of the things he originally blogged about (hey, I am a bit much to handle at times). So, just to point out - I have the utmost respect for him, that one particular comment just really got me, and I haven't been able to shake it off. His opinion means a lot because of the respect I have for him. If I didn't care, it wouldn't bother me. Anyway. back to the originally scheduled post...

I have now officially started letting people know about my departure from Duke and the Center for Leadership and Public Values. I sent out an e-mail at the beginning of the week to all of our Fellows in the US and South Africa, as well as all the participants in our Civil Society Program.

I always looked at myself as an "admin" person in this position. I made things happen, and that was the extent of my responsibility and influence. I think I was wrong. People have sent me some of the most heartfelt e-mails I have ever received - about times they have shared with me, how they will miss seeing me in Africa, and how proud they are of me for obtaining this new position.

I don't know if you guys remember my bitch and moan post when I ran across my ex-husband's blog earlier in the year. The point of that whole thing was that I was terribly hurt by him posting very mean comments about me in a public sphere - I don't believe I mentioned it in the post I am referring to on my blog, but one of the comments he made about me had something to do with my spending time in Africa and how people didn't want to hear anything from some white girl from the US. Reading that made me flinch for more reasons than one. Someone I shared my life with for that long actually thought of my job and my personality that way? and was he right? The comment has stuck with me ever since I read it.

I learned this week that he was wrong. All the Africans I met DID want to hear what I had to say. And everything they said to me was welcomed. I will miss Africa dearly - the friends, the memories, the scenery, the spirit that is Africa. I know I sound like a nut when I talk about it, but my time in South Africa was life changing. I take a lot of pride in knowing that I influenced people - if only slightly - that a white American girl sometimes may have something important to say.

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