Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Edition...Yeah I am behind.

Hello there! I haven't written for a while and honestly I don't really feel like catching people up here in detail so I will just quickly run through on some important things that have happened (with a few highlights) and then continue on with where I am now :)

Ok Thanksgiving/Hanukkah --> A lot of volunteers gathered in Gjirokaster for a Friendsgiving and I (with some help) cooked the turkey :))

Language Refresher --> A conference/workshop designed to help us refresh our language skills was held in Elbasan. We also had a talent show that was a bunch of fun! Unfortunately after, we lost another volunteer, and another volunteer fell in a hole ( happens here). She was okay though--just a few stitches and she was super champion about it.

Christmas --> Some other volunteers went "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" status and went to Vienna, Budapest, and Bratislava together. It was awesome. We had leggings with denim print that fit all of us.

New Years Eve --> I spent it with my counterpart and her family in a small town next to Lac called Sanxhak. I stayed for a couple days hanging out with her and eating a lot of wonderful traditional Albanian food. Turkey and Baklava are 2 things that are traditional for this holiday. The fireworks were nuts! There were also a lot of AK47s and firecrackers being shot out of people's windows. It kind of felt like I was in a battle zone and I even got hit in the head by a firework sparkle.

And now...NOW!

I have reach my month long mark now of running 4-6 miles 4-6 days a week and it feels awesome! Except of course, for the quarter-sized blisters on my feet, my arthritic ankles, and for the cough I've developed from the little sick boy in a furgon I took. However, they are of no matter! I have always made excuses for why I don't run (especially more than 1 mile at a time). I never liked running. It took me like 5 tries to pass the mile test in college (1 mile in 7:15) and I kind of always viewed running as punishment. For whatever reason now, I enjoy running. I love when Albanians stare at me like I have 3 feet. I love my running buddy who keeps my pace even though he's 6ft tall. I love the view and the fact that I can be outside in WINTER! I love feeling healthy and athletic, and I love that running helps to build my schedule.

My running buddy has also told me that our running has inspired him to plan to build a gym in Milot for men AND WOMEN! Yayyy.. I couldn't be more proud of him, and I am excited to help him begin this endeavor!

Besides running, I now have 2 extra courses after school to help students who are behind. I love the extra courses because I get to work with students who are there solely because they WANT to learn and not because it's required. This course is a teacher's dream.

I haven't been in a writing mood lately, hence the lack of blog posts. Hopefully, I'll find that mood somewhere in the near future so I can do a better job keeping you all updated, but until then...

That's all. Here are some photos!

Performing in the Language Refresher Talent Show
                                                          Finding a Kosovare in Vienna!
                                                              Bratislava, Slovakia!
                                                     Circle dancing at 1:30am in the airport
                                                                  Christmas Markets!
                                                          Kidneys from the T-day Turkey
                                                                A view from my run
                                                              Friendsgiving in Gjirokaster
                                                               Ugly Sweater Party

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