Tonight is the kind of night that makes me miss home. I’m going through a strange rush of emotions.
In just two days, I’ll be moving to my new home of Kocani. It’s crazy to think that I’ve already been here for 2 ½ months. When I think back to all the things that have happened since I got here, I’m simply amazed.
My first two weeks were quite a struggle. I knew very little of the language. I could hardly communicate with my family. I spent the majority of my time sitting in the living room, reading or trying to read the Macedonian subtitles on the Turkish soap operas. I ate more than I wanted, and I drank more Turkish coffee than I think was safe to consume
A couple weeks in, I had begun to really dive into some friendships here. I was going on little day adventures to the abandoned train station, but I was still spending the majority of time at home…just hanging out and trying my hardest to communicate. I was so worried about possibly offending my family, so I didn’t really do too much with my days, other than school. This was the time where I felt REALLY home sick.
The second half of the adjustment was much better. I slowly began to understand more and more of the language. I forced myself to leave the house more. I told myself it was OK if I didn’t Facetime my mom every day. And it was around this time that PC events and training really began to pick up. I was gone more and more from my home. Often times, I wouldn’t get back until after dark, and I think this made me want more and more of my own space. Naturally, after getting home from work, all you want to do is what YOU want to do, which, for me, is relaxing. So I began to spend more time in my room. I told myself it was OK, and my family seemed to appreciate and respect my need for personal space. It was around this time that I began to really feel comfortable.
During this time, I received lots of packages. I taped photos all over my room. I began to again spend more time at home. With the colder months, came colder homes. Unfortunately, these training months fall on 3 whole seasons. Already, I’ve experienced summer, fall, and winter. Winter is by far BRUTAL. In America, everywhere you go is warm inside. Here…not even being inside of a school, a restaurant, or a home will make you warm. It’s probably what I miss most about America.
The last few weeks have just seemed so final. My home life is still very comfortable. I spend more one on one time with each volunteer and their families. I've gone on day trips with my own family. I've already had one person come visit!! I've adjusted to the Macedonian time schedule of everything. I'm able to walk down the street and speak with a stranger the entire way to school. I'm able to understand those silly soap operas. I'm able to sit at the table with my family and actually hold a real conversation. And I landed an "Intermediate Medium" on my language proficiency test. : )
That being said, I feel really good about the time I spent in Lozovo. I have a fantastic relationship with my host family and the other volunteers here. Undoubtedly, we will only continue to grow closer. I am now more and more anxious though about the big move. I feel READY.
Tomorrow, I will go to my swearing in ceremony. It is a HUGE deal. There will be around 200 or so people there, and yours truly will be wearing a suit. Tomorrow night, I will finish my packing, which I still have no idea how to accomplish. I literally have too much stuff now…I cant fit it all, and I’m not sure how I’ll manage it, but we shall see. : ) And then Friday morning….I’m off!!
I’m going to go ahead and say this….I don’t know when I’ll have internet again. I will not have access tomorrow or Friday, and I don’t know how long it will take to get internet set up in my new home. So if you need me, CALL ME. If you write me, don’t expect a response for about a week, I’m sorry.
I hope you all have a festive Thanksgiving!! I sure do wish I was home, esp for some good ‘ol potato casserole. I miss you all so much!! Take photos of Thanksgiving and send them my way. : )