Monday, June 28, 2010

The dasem I've been waiting for

This past Saturday was Yllka's wedding. I have been waiting for this wedding for 2 years. As soon as I met Yllka at the counterpart conference during training and found out she wasn't married I told her, "You better get married before I leave!" Now she is married and I have just about one month left in Albania. Good timing Yllka :)

I went all out for the wedding and got my hair done, make up done and bought a sparkly dress so that I looked truly Shqiptare for the occasion. The hairdresser used almost an entire can of hairspray on my hair and I'm gonna be washing it out for the next week or so....

I am gonna miss this girl so much when I leave!

Yllka and Blerim dancing away. It's tradition that when the couple dance together, people throw money at them. Note that Yllka has some money stuck down the front of her dress. Totally normal :)

Just wanted to post a few pics from the wedding. It was absolutely beautiful and I'm glad that I was able to be a part of it. Congrats to Yllka and Blerim!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

50 Days

The countdown now stands at 50 days. It is extremely weird as I go through my days thinking about how soon I will be saying good-bye to these people who have become a fixture in my days. I'm still trying not to think too much about it but it's getting harder day by day.

I found out that instead of 2 summer camps there will only be one this summer. There are several reasons why. First off, there are still major trust issues between certain community members and the bashki. Especially the Roma have a hard time with letting their children attend the camp for a week. They believe that we may keep their children. The camp that we were planning for July has also proved to be difficult. My counterpart was not going to be able to attend as she is getting married (9 days!!) and will be on her honeymoon. The parents do not know the other people who will be acting as counselors and are therefor afraid to let their children come. So, as it now stands, there are 36 children enrolled for the camp August 1-6th. Hopefully we will be able to fill the last 4 slots but we'll see what happens. I'm sad that I will only be able to go to the first 4 days of the camp since I will be leaving on the 6th and have to go to Tirana on the 5th. I'm just happy that I will be able to see a little bit of the camp.

This week has been really busy. On Tuesday, I was in Tirana doing my COS medical stuff so that it could be sent to Morocco. Yesterday, I was in Shkoder having lunch and coffee with the volunteers up there. Today, the country director and 2 men from PC Washington will be in Lezha to talk to me about the partnership grant I did last year. Tomorrow, I have to go back to Tirana to finish my medical stuff. I have big plans for this weekend by which I mean, I will be at the beach :)

Time to go live it up!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rruge te mbare Piter!

It's happened again. Last night, I went over to Peter's house and helped him clean out his house, pack up his things, and take things that needed to get to other people. We actually got through it all really fast. After about 2.5 hours, his bags were packed, all his trash was thrown out, the clothes he was leaving behind had been taken care of and all the things that needed to go to other people had been taken over to my house. While I helped Peter get ready for his departure, it made me sad to think that this was the last time I would see Peter in Lezha.
Peter has been an amazing site mate. He's helped me get through some tough times and he's celebrated the good times with me as well. We had a final dinner together on Wednesday night with the new volunteers here in Lezha, Laura and Jen, and two other volunteers, Chris and Joe. It was great to have one last hoorah all together. I'm really going to miss Peter during my last 1.5 months here in Lezha but I will survive :)

Today is the official COS date of my group and there are several other volunteers leaving today with Peter. A few have left already but the majority of us are still here for awhile. I know I'm not ready to leave quite yet. I will be ready August 6th, but not yet I'm not. It's even odder to think that in about 3 months I will be joining a new group of volunteers to go through this experience all over again.

Congrats G11 on COS'ing!!