It has been raining here. A lot. And it’s cold when it rains. I know I shouldn’t be complaining about this since I left North Dakota in the middle of winter. The cold here feels different though, it’s that wet cold that gets into your bones and doesn’t go away. Probably because there is no escape into a warm house with the luxury of a fireplace. I have been bundled up in my long underwear today and decided showering was out of the question because I refuse to take off all my layers. Don’t worry though, I showered yesterday and am wearing clean clothes. I am still well within the guidelines of cleanliness. Even if I wasn’t, it was just too cold this afternoon. Sorry for those of you in Pajove with me.
When the sun did come out this week we all took advantage of it and went on a hike. There is a tower that overlooks the surrounding villages located on the edge of town. We all needed to release some energy and get out of the classroom and it turned out to be the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors. I was a little worried I would get sunburnt since I hadn’t seen the sun in so long. The views were beautiful and hopefully there will be many more hikes in the next 8 weeks in Pajove. I need to burn off this bread somehow!
I experienced my first power outage here. It had been raining all day and my sister said that when it rains sometimes there is an issue with the electricity. It actually turned out to be fun bonding time with my host siblings. We made a blanket picnic on the floor in front of the computer and watched a movie. English with Shqip subtitles. That counts as studying right? We were lucky and we only lost power for an hour or so but it was a little glimpse into what life might be like if I get placed somewhere remote. I am glad I brought my computer and plenty of flashlights.
I am getting to know my sisters better and love having girl time with them. My 15 year old sister turns 16 in February so we are hoping to plan a big celebration for both of our birthdays. It is fun to think about where I might be in 10 months! She is hoping to continue her education after she graduates high school and possibly pursue a career in medicine. I told her if she graduates medical school I would love to be in the crowd at her graduation to support her. She is such a smart girl and I was so happy to hear that she wants to continue her education.
My family is going to teach me how to make Byrek and a bean soup that is common here in Albania. In return I am going to make the dessert. I may try and come up with something that I don’t have to bake since our cookies didn’t exactly turn out the first time! I love having chocoholic sisters around so I can share my sweet tooth with them. Living with a host family still has its challenges but I am figuring out my place in the house and how to get day to day tasks done. I did a load of laundry today and felt quite accomplished after the task. Now since it won’t quit raining, my clothes will probably take until next week to dry. BUT at least they will be clean and smell good!
This afternoon my 7 year old sister helped me with my language homework. Then we sat and laughed for the next half hour at the way I was pronouncing some of the words. Turns out learning a new language can be kind of fun!