About a month ago I faced something terrible…and the month before that as well. My service has been filled with pain and fear. I felt emotions I didn’t know where possible and all in a foreign country that I thought was my home.
I apologize I haven’t blogged in a long time. There have been many events that have unfolded this spring that I needed time to process and understand.
Today, for the first time in over a month I went on a 5 mile run confidently by myself. Last night I walked home from one of my student actor’s houses through the dark.
The good news is I am safe and recovering in a wonderful and spiffy apartment across from the Green Pazar in Tetovo. I commute to work everyday and am involved in the American Corner (thank you American tax dollars) where I have an adult English class, Pippi Longstocking play practices, and GLOW club meetings.
This semester I have been focusing on teaching with each of my teachers for a full month will full month plans with goals, quizzes, tests, and different forms of assessment. I am currently on my fourth teacher at the “other” village school.
My school has successfully implemented the SPA Grant “from the American people” where this wonderful Technology Room is used by all the teachers trained with the technology. This like-smartboard gives students and teachers a different tool they can use that will engage students on a different level.
Two weeks ago, my students and community put on a school’s name day celebration that had the X-Factor, Name Day Celebration, SPA Technology Room, and a cocktail party. My Peace Corps director came with some other staff to show their support.
Besides all these amazing things go on around me, I have endured quiet a lot. I can’t go into details, nor do I want to full describe what happened to me.
Here is a poem written over a month ago about one of my experiences:
Tears run down my cheeks
Blurring my vision
The pain in my heart
The world keeps moving
I stare out into the cruel world
When will old “me” return?
Where is my hope and love?
A waterfall of angry
Confusion over what happened.
Nobody could ever prepare me
For what I have experienced and endured
I try all the coping mechanism
But I can’t find any that work
I close my eyes and wonder:
Will I be stronger or weaker
Because of all of this?
Will I ever trust a stranger?
Will I ever smile again?
Ignorance is not bliss
Ignorance is peace of mind
Knowing is painful and harmful
Can I move beyond this?
Can I have the courage to stand tall?
I look behind me constantly
Is there someone following me?
I am paranoid, paranoid of everyone
Is trust even possible?
This is not what I imagined it would be.
Tears in my soul
Tears in my eyes
Tears in every step I take
Please, hold my hand
And take me out of this place.
I have improved greatly since the situations I endured, but I thought showing the pain through poetry gives the experience a life of its own.
I am proud of myself. I am not proud of everything I have tried and worked on in the peace corps. I am proud of myself for waking up everyday and trying to improve and grow. I am proud of myself for trying to recover and become the person I know I can be.
Recently, I took an amazing trip to Turkey. This trip seemed to come at the perfect time.
Here I am with the beautiful scenery in Cappadocia:
Here is my travel buddy and I:
We met this guy that lived in this rock cave…sooooo cool!
Me with the beautiful rock formations hiking.
Early sunrise, worth it for the hot air balloon:
Flying in the sky seemed like a dream!
In the Blue Mosque in Turkey:
Even outside of the mosque was BEAUTIFUL!
The Grand Pazar and Spice Market were really hectic places
The Bosporus was wonderful to chill on
Taoism the most classy part of Istanbul
Besides my wonderful trip to Turkey I have been enjoying a lot of other things.
My amazing two old host sisters Alba and Fjolla went exploring with me one wonderful Saturday:
My wonderful GLOW Club gave positive quotes, chocolates and roses to women on International Women’s Day
Beautiful Kratovo in the spring:
Happy summer holidays to everyone! Congrats to all my family and friends for graduating this year!
Keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I continue using my courage in my last 7 months of service.