Sunday, April 14, 2013


April 10, 2013

Oh hi there! I have a lot to post about, but I'll do my best to keep this somewhat short..and interesting. I have been in Albania for 3 weeks now and I am still very happy here. Anyway..The general things I will discuss in this post are:
1)  I went on a volunteer visit to Kucove (and Berat). 
2) My experience with learning the Albanian language
3) Struggles and expected struggles
4) Funny stories
5) Miscellaneous Panda Banter (MPB)

Volunteer visit-
The volunteer visit is an awesome thing. It is a time for current trainees to visit a current volunteer somewhere in the country for 4 days. To make things less complicated, I am going to generalize this experience by saying it is a time for trainees to take a break from their host families and other trainees, make use of wifi, eat volunteer-made Mexican food, see what it's like to be a real PCV, and put many many workout videos, movies, ebooks, and music on flash drives. I had an awesome time, and now I can't wait until NEXT FRIDAY to find out where in Albania I'll be placed!!! Apparently someone cries every year due to disappointment in placement, but I have faith in group 16. Let's hope for all smiles. I know I'll be happy with wherever I get sent. 

Albanian Language-
I am actually having a fairly easy time learning this language. I am very proud of the progress I am making. The grammar is a it hard to pick up, but my technique is just to not stress about it, and speak without thinking.

Sickness. Sickness constantly flows through the trainees. We are disgusting germ machines. I currently have a terrible cough with a lot of chest congestion. It may be bronchitis. Last week I had a fever, and the week before that I had a headache/soar throat combo. Also, my nails are turning yellow..which the Health volunteers tell me is a sign of iron deficiency. The only other real struggle I have is seeing all the starving/beaten animals on the street.

Struggles I predict for the future: 1. Loneliness at site 2. Corrupt school systems 3. More sickness 4. Losing things and/or being robbed of things

Funny stories- one volunteer said the word "to be f*ck*d" instead of "to be called"

I was mistaken for a small child who doesn't speak Albanian

Got locked out of my house, tried to jump the wall, the brick came loose --> i fell on my back

MPB- I have observed some big issues while being here. there is a lot of cheating and corruption in the schools, and that is just how life is here. also, the hospitals lack proper conditions including elevators (for a 6 story building), sanitary needles, and heat :(( I am super excited to find out where I'll be placed for the next 2 years this Friday! Also, today we did a 5 hour hike up to a tree in Librazhd. It was awesome because volunteers from other villages came. I'm running out of internet time so it's time to go. Nect time I post, I'll have my site placement. Woo!

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