I am going to thoroughly enjoy my time in Arnaqija. It is one of the villages surrounding Saraj which is one of the provinces which makes up Skopje. I’ve already figured out how to get into town and find City Mall and the American Corner. So those are great goals accomplished. I have met my co-teacher and she is an absolute delight. The kids in the class are quite good and are anxious for me to be there. Have met a number of the other teachers and they also are very warm and welcoming. I have also co-hosted my first cooking night at the American Corner and look forward to carrying forward this tradition. Simple American foods. I just have to think up a name for my course. Suggestions are welcome.
American Corner is a resource center sponsored by the American Embassy for people wanting to learn more about America. They have books, movies, magazines, computers and classes. The cooking class is an introduction to American culture. They also do classes to prep people for the GRE and TEFL and other classes as resources and/or interest is expressed. It is a place for people to practice speaking American English. I’m so glad I got introduced to this early in my service so I will. It is a great way to begin community integration.
Discovered that my school is visible from the freeway as I was making my way home. Beverly dropped me at City Mall and said, just grab a bus or Kombi labeled for Tetovo to get home. After sitting there for almost an hour, here came my bus. (Think I had just missed the previous one but nature called and I had to answer that call before getting on a bus.) Once I got to Tetovo, it was time to navigate a traditional Kombi to get home to Dobroshtë. I obviously did it! Now in three weeks I will move there. I will try to get pictures of my new family up once I move there.
Have been thinking of a number of projects to do with and for my classes. The classrooms are very sterile and I hope to change that. I am going to begging for craft supplies to be sent to me to help jazz up the rooms. If anyone sees felt squares and/or glitter glue pens on sale at a craft store (please not Hobby Lobby!), please let me know and I will negotiate with you on how to get them to me and for me to pay you. (Remember, I’m a poorly paid volunteer.) Other craft supplies will be appreciated as well. Have not seen any craft stores here yet but surely they must exist.
Do not have a post office in my new community so am going to work with the servicing post office to deliver my mail to the school where I will be working. Stay tuned for that address. . The name of the school is Shkolla Emin Duraku. Does not seem to be online. However, the person it was named for has a little information here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emin_Duraku. I’m actually buying a stamp with that image on it. Nice to have connections.
Speaking of connections……I found a stamp dealer here in Macedonia. As I was talking to him, I found out that his sister happens to be the owner of the building the Peace Corps is currently located in. Talk about a small world! Wow!
And just as an FYI for anyone who may be concerned, we received a safety and security notice today from our security officer. Nothing to be terribly concerned about but nice to know that we have such capable people monitoring our safety and security.