First and foremost: Thank you Josh and Nicole. This song is my song–I love it. Thank you for capturing it. http://youtu.be/ho7rJWN52Pw
And this coming week truly is landslide time. Our lives are changing. The little fledglings are getting ready to fly the nest and test our wings. Next week we will be doing our Practicum at local schools and language classes in the afternoon. The following week will be site visits. That is an opportunity for us to preview our new homes, meet our new families and figure out what exactly we will need for our new homes. I know that one of the first things I will try to find is a wireless printer for my devices. The week after that we have our Language Proficiency Interview and a conference and then…….we celebrate Thanksgiving with our host families, get sworn in and off to our new homes. A little scary but they are preparing us well and have an amazing support system in place for us.
This is the week the weather changed. There is snow in Skopje. On Sunday we were out picking apples, walnuts and blackberries. Today we are all snuggling together attempting to stay warm. Tonight the temperature will be -2 (C). I have many blankets to keep me warm. Unfortunately, I will have to climb out of bed in the morning for a trip to Skopje bright and early. The nice part is that I get to see the rest of my friends and catch up on what they are doing. We have four training sites in the country and each one is doing something a little bit different.
I have met the person I will be replacing in Saraj. She is a lovely person and has extended so that we will have some overlap and I can slide into place very easily. She is even going to send a car over for me to take me to my new home. Don’t know if other volunteers will be that lucky. Some may have to struggle to get to their new homes with their multiple large bags using public transportation.
We had mid-term assessments concerning our readiness to serve and I seem to have passed. I still struggle with the languages. I understand a lot of it but trying to get the sentences put together is a bit of a struggle. I’m not too worried about language at this point. I’ll have my own personal tutor when I get to site.
Have had a lot of contact with village people. Even helped one person make ajvar. Talked with a bunch of the students from the local primary school. That was also a lot of fun. I still need to go to the Macedonian side of the village to have coffee with one of the other trainee’s баба. She wants to have coffee with the one with white hair. Not sure when we will accomplish this visit. These little visits are never about just coffee. It takes forever. Especially when we are trying to translate information about our families and where we live in the United States. Seems like they all know where Chicago is so it makes it easy for me to point out Central Michigan. But upstate NY or Colorado or Indianapolis are a little harder for them to understand. Fortunately I have a map!
Okay—off to Tetovo! Time to spend some of that huge stipend we get–Wow 125 denar a day! ($2.50). Maybe I can buy an avocado!