Sunday, October 7, 2012

5 months until departure

In PC post-Invite news I was asked to submit an aspiration statement, an updated resume, and my Peace Corps passport request form to the Albanian desk at PC headquarters. The aspiration statement is my only chance to introduce myself to the PC Albania employees before I actually get there, so it was kind of a cool chance to let them know what I'm all about. The updated resume did not take much time --just had to reformat, and I have yet to turn in my passport application (although I did go to Walgreens to get my 2*2 photos taken). As I wait for my departure in 5 months... a lot of things go through my head, and I thought that this blog would be a perfect place to share them!

1. Clothing to bring -- So..although Albania is a developing country, the people there are greatly influenced by Italian fashion, which means they like to look good. Any of you that know me well know I'm kind of a sweatpants, sports bra, t-shirt etc. type of person..and well, that look just simply won't fly there. As I reflect on my "going out" clothes I shorts and skirts are way too short, and my tops are either too tight, see through, or thin-strapped for any activity in Albania..which makes me feel like a floozy. I also have a lifetime supply of Nike Ohio State gear that will do me no good in Albania (although I will probably bring some..if anything for sentiment). Anywhoo long story short -- I need a new wardrobe. I need stylish, professional looking clothes that cover my knees and shoulders. Do I just wait and buy most of these clothes there? Do they even have munchkin-sized (I'm almost 4 ft 10) clothes in Albania?! These are things I need to consider...

2. Handling the awesome PC discounts -- I have emailed many different companies about discounts for PCVs and almost all of them have offered my pretty substantial deals. The issue is once I start looking for things I need I get carried away and think things like "Of course I will need this hammock that I can sleep, cook in, and store all my valuables!!! $500 with a 50% discount..what an excellent deal! I must buy this." or "Full body mountain-climbing suit? Albania has mountains! What if I will climb those mountain?! I will need this suit, and there's a discount!" I must stay strong against these feelings, and not give in to the discounts and buy everything REI has to offer. I might considering making a list of things I want/need with a 1-10 scale of how necessary they are.

3. Learning Albania -- I have Pimsleur CDs that I borrowed from the library that have been helping me learn Albanian. I also have a great friend who speaks Albanian so I've been getting a decent amount of practice in (Faleminderit Doni!). Albanian is an Indo-European language that sounds kind of like Russian and Italian. I struggle with where to put emphasis on certain words, but otherwise it's not too hard --much easier than Chinese!

Well that's it for today. I will check-in when I have any other random PC thoughts or when I have any significant PC updates. I have now found 2 other people who are going to Albania in March, and I am super excited about it (I google "Peace Corps Albania March 2013" and look for Blogs--like a stalker). Hah, well Naten e Mire (good night)!


  1. Hey! I'm headed to Albania in 2013 (I thought I would pull the stalker card... ). A RPCV from Albania informed me that the fashion advice was a little off in terms of the Italian Fashion... and that nice jeans and blouses were the way to go (though that may not stop me from finding a new wardrobe!) Good Luck!

  2. Hey Miranda! I currently was working on things for my new blog post and some how I happened upon yours. I am a current PV Albania health volunteer in Korce. If you would like I could help you out a bit with packing advice, etc....feel free to contact me further if you would to chat a little. Best of luck with your preps! Maria