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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Time to get dirty

Hey everyone, so guess who has water again?! THIS GIRL!! But let me just wasnt easy.

People from the city had to actually come out to my apartment yesterday afternoon to fix the problem. Three men who spoke no English at all stood in my apartment, checking me out, looking at my stuff, and then talking about me in Macedonian, thinking I couldnt understand them. I decided to suck it up, because they were slowly fixing the water issue one step at a time. Sink- FIXED. Shower- FIXED. Washing machine- FIXED. Oh, but the toilet....nope, still not working. It required them to take apart some of the piping in the wall. I had some legit construction going on in there. Finally, they called me into the bathroom to show me part of the pipe they'd cut out. It had a solid chunk of black/brown matter stuck in it. Whatever it was had completely solidified, hence why I was getting no water.

As we are standing there assessing the problem, I realized the pipe sticking out of the wall was completely exposed and open. Suddenly, we were hit with a jet of water, much like what I'd imagine a fire hose would feel like, if struck by one. The force of the water slammed us into the walls and the door of my bathroom. Black and brown water flooded my bathroom and my hallway. The walls, floor, and quite frankly every single surface in the bathroom and the hallway was soaked in this black/brown gunky water. Unbelievable.

Here, you can see some of the aftermath. The photo simply doesnt do it justice. Once they fixed the problem, the maintenance men left. My landlord (who showed up after the flooding) decided the mess was simply not his problem to deal with, so I called Peace Corps. On the phone, my landlord explained to Manuela that the mess really "wasn't that bad." He kept saying it was nothing....really, like it wasnt a big deal at all. I was so livid, I grabbed the phone and demanded help. Manuela agreed to let me take out a small bit of cash out of my upcoming rent to pay for the cleaning supplies (ie. mop, chemicals, etc.) When I told the landlord this, he was pissed. He threw an utter fit and started trying to half-ass clean up the mess. The photo above is after his attempt of cleaning. The photo from above is what he thought was a job well-done. In fact, when I tried to take photos, he would try to stand in front of my camera, while shoveling chucks of black matter UNDER MY WASHING MACHINE, like it was just going to disappear down there. Eventually, he agreed to leave, and I ended up spending 2-3 hours cleaning up my bathroom. 

This morning, I woke up feeling really good about how clean my bathroom ended up becoming. I went to work, ready for the kids to participate in the National Spelling Bee qualifiers. Basically, in order for a kid to pass a qualifier, they must spell 10 English words correctly. So in each class, I had kids come up, one at a time, and try it out. The word list for the high school students is actually kind of tough!! I had SEVERAL kids who made it to their 8th or 9th word and then make a very small mistake and lose it all. I felt horrible for the kids who made it so close...I want to take them all with me to the Bee!! By the end of the day, I had two students successfully complete the challenge. I am hoping I will have more kids participate on Friday from different classes, although I'm not sure yet. I'm proud of all my students. I seriously had a lot of fun with all of them today!! Here are a few photos from the day : )
I personally like how it says "toilet business" on the board, even though that was not intentional. I also did not make this discovery until I uploaded the photos, and boy did I have a good giggle!! Anyways, this kid is one of the two who will be going to the National Spelling Bee to compete.

I think this is a great shot. Emilija took all the photos, and we are putting them on the Spelling Bee's site.

I like this one, because clearly something has made me laugh very hard.

Just a shot of one of my classes. This gives you an idea of what my classrooms look like.

One of my favorite classes. I just love them!!

Another class I adore!! The girl sitting beside me is the other student who will be competing. 

Anywho, it was a really good day!! I also found time to visit with my Director for a hot minute this morning. I begged him to help me find a new place to live. Seeing as how we dont have the classified ads in papers here, nor do we have CraigsList, the only chance I have of finding a new home is through word of mouth. He's promised to do everything he can to help me, so let's keep our fingers crossed!! There's also been a lot of talk around school about the dance classes. The class from Monday apparently has been quite the topic of conversation, and a lot of girls have already inquired about when the next class will be held. Tomorrow starts the first dance class with the other shift of students, and Im feeling confident this class will be just as great as the first one!! Starting next week, I will also provide a night class for the teachers, as most of them are very interested. : D 

Alright...that's all I've got for now. I'm hoping tomorrow will bring warmer temperatures, because today only brought more snow, and I'm really getting tired of the winter. I know all you guys in America are just living it up in your short-sleeve shirts, so you just hush! ; ) Ciao!!

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