Drumroll please

We had our language exams at the end of week nine. The exam consists of a twenty minute conversation with one of the teachers. All in shqip. No english. They ask us questions about ourselves and our life and we are expected to understand, comprehend  and reply. We are then graded based on our answers. I am told that most volunteers fall into the intermediate low to intermediate mid level at the end of PST. Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous when 1:30 on Friday rolled around. I am sure I freaked my teacher out a little bit because I was staring at her so intently as I tried to understand what she was saying. They are also trained to keep smiling and nodding even if we are answering the question completely wrong or not making any sense. Needless to say, I passed, as does pretty much everyone. If you don’t pass then Peace Corps requires you to get a language tutor once you get to site. I plan on doing that anyway so I can hopefully start talking to my counterpart more and more.

Emily and I with our host grandparents

Emily and I with our host grandparents

Emily came to stay with my host family again this last week and it was a special event since it was her birthday.

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Birthday dinner

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The cake here is all the same flavor. It is a light layered white cake with a whip cream like frosting and a layered caramel/nut layer. It is pretty tasty.

Birthday girl!

Birthday girl!

I am starting to pick up more and more shqip and was even able to contribute to the dinner conversation. I am so lucky to have such an awesome host family. My grandparents are amazing people and they told us that they now have 5 kids (former/current volunteers) from America in their family. We ended the night by watching Mr. Bean with my host sisters. My little sister, Brikena told me it was her favorite show the other week. It is the perfect thing for us to watch together since there is very little talking. I am looking forward to moving to Permet and having my own place but I am really going to miss my new family here!

My sisters in Shqiperia

My sisters in Shqiperia

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Learning to circle dance

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I found out from my new sitemate that she found me an apartment to live in! I am no longer homeless and it is a fantastic feeling. It even has a decent kitchen which means I will be able to cook again soon!! I will be able to unpack my suitcases in a matter of days. Words cannot describe how excited that makes me! Hopefully once I am there I won’t be woken up every morning by noisy baby turkeys and chickens!

The boxes of turkeys, chickens, and their babies that we have inside of our front door every night.

The boxes of turkeys, chickens, and their babies that we have inside of our front door every night.

They are noisy. I am told they bring them inside so that the rats and dogs don't eat them.

They are noisy. I am told they bring them inside so that the rats and dogs don’t eat them.

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My grandma and little sister.

My grandma and little sister.

Cute :) We named him Mr. Bean haha

Cute 🙂 We named him Mr. Bean haha

I am told by the rest of my group members that I have a relatively thick ND accent. That is probably not the coolest accent one could have but oh well. A few people seem to be regularly entertained by the way I talk. I’m hoping that is why Albanians sometime laugh at me when I talk to them in shqip. So far there isn’t an Albanian I have met that knows where North Dakota is. I have started saying I am from ND, close to Canada. That usually sparks some sort of recognition.

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Playing with my little sister and her friends

Playing with my little sister and her friends

I only have four days left of training and then I will officially swear in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. It is hard to believe I have lived here for almost ten weeks already. I have already made so many memories with wonderful new friends. I can’t wait to see what the next two years will hold!

Life is Great! Star Fleet Yachts, #Kemah, #Texas, loves you loads. Select #StarFleetYachts for your #wedding in #Kemah, #Texas. We make your wedding day memorable by providing quality #food and #awesome #floral #decoration. Book us now for your #wedding. #Life #Love #quote

1 thought on “Drumroll please

  1. My best (Albanian) friend is in Tirana, Erjola (joli). I’m going to connect you two. She is a progressive thinker from my host-village. It is really important to start building a native tribe of supporters. https://www.facebook.com/joli.duka
    Happy birthday and congrats on passing language, site placement and swearing in. After all this work, NOW the 2 year clock starts! Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

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