May 28, 2013 by theloneblonde
It’s Almost Over!
My time has almost come to being over with the ten-week thrill ride that is PST, honestly it has been almost as terrifying as those wooden roller coasters at Mt. Olympus in the Dells (if you have been there you would understand). On Thursday morning at 10 am we will begin the process to become official Peace Corps Volunteers, not some whimpie trainees! It will be a very exciting day, my host family has been helping me pick out my dress through various family fashion shows and planning my hair styles for the past few weeks.
1000 Hours Albanian Standard Time (or somewhere around then)
All 34 of us will take the oath of the Peace Corps Volunteer, which is something around the lines of…
“I [state your name] do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge my duties in the Peace Corps. So Help me Zot. “
Soon it will be official! I will be moving out of my host families house and into my new apartment within the week! June 3rd will be my first week of work at the Bashkia (Municipality) and I have been informed I will need to get right down to business.
In terms of work, I guess I have never really explained what I will be doing in my city! Well officially I will be working with a counterpart who is in the office of the registrar and tourism (two very different things, in one office). Though my office is with the architect. I have my own desk, which belong to the retired urban planner. I will be working with the engineer and the architect to make things happen. What those things are, I am not sure as of yet. I will also be working with the Vice-Mayor on very important Vice-Mayor things, mostly related to business.
On my first day at the office when I was there previously, I showed up asking to see him, but for the life of me I could not remember his name… so I was like Zyratar! Zyratar! (Mayor?). Not to mention all I really knew is that he is the Vice-Mayor, and I was not really sure if I was supposed to be there? The receptionist took me to the office of the mayor, well I did not actually need to see the Mayor and he was not actually there. Not to mention I am sure she was thinking WHO IN THE WORLD IS THIS BLONDE GIRL WITH A HUGE BACKPACK WHO DOES NOT ACTUALLY SPEAK ALBANIAN! So I start to yell out KYTAR E Vogel!!! (The little mayor). Well she got this, and apparently Vice-Mayor and the little mayor does not really work out, but they thought I was hilarious. Thank you very much; I will be here for two years.
I am the first Peace Corps Volunteer who has worked with my Bashkia so it means that I have lots of work to get done! I have been hinted at with a few projects, none of them may happen; all of them may happen I have to kind of wait and see about who works with me about what and what the community wants and what the town needs, blah blah. So some ideas that I have heard include:
- Making a community garden for kids
- Starting any type of afterschool programs
- Creating tourism resources (we have awesome nature)
- Marking trails
- Making geocaches (my own)
- Fixing the Road (it’s mostly unpaved and super prone to landslides)
- Getting Books for the Library
- Opening a Community Center
- Movie Nights at the Theater
- Urban Planning Stuff Including Planning Permissions
- Getting Local Restaurants to have Menu’s and Translating them
- City Map
- Mayors Council
- Tourism Project with Italian Sister City
- Tourism Project with Croatian Sister City
These are some ideas of what I could be working on, will any of them actually happen, probably not. But these ideas will stem other ideas which will make idea babies, who will learn to talk and question, and then maybe a project will come out of them. Specifically the last two, I want to make happen, but maybe because I have some other motives (work trip to Italy and Croatia, um best job ever! A girl can dream). I will let you know after June 3rd what the first steps are because it’s going to be anything but ordinary.
My office has already indicated a project that they would like to work on for me as it relates to me being in the office. On day one the declared that they need a new urban planner and they want me to be there forever, well that’s not really what I am doing here, but we are hashing out the details slowly. They want to do this by finding me an Albanian Man, so I will want to stay forever. I tend to laugh at this statement, because it happens often, but I let them know my standards are very high. I have already started dropping hints at my high expectations of a man. Because at twenty-three, it is already very very late in the game in terms of the husband finding. They have been informed that I want an engineer who is older then me, the list will slowly get longer to include tall, handsome, perfect teeth, fluent in multiple languages, excellent cook, does dishes/laundry willingly, just to name a few. My list must be pretty comprehensive, they have said they would go to Tirana (the capitol) to find me a man so they can bring him back and he can work with me. If you have any suggestions of things to add to the list feel free to comment.
So I will be saying my goodbyes to the host family Thursday morning and off to the big world, of being an actual volunteer! I’m really looking forward to it!
Also random video update, my last post Fiks Fare: Fshat; our village rendition of the investigative TV show that is on the national news station in Albania. Well we sent it to our language teacher, whom sent it to his friends, who also thought it was hilarious, one of them apparently posted the video on the Fiks Fare Page, so pretty much it could go viral in Albania any minute. We are Awesome like that, or just really bored.