LAST DAY IN KOSOVO!!!

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Today I spent most of my day with the kids at Fushe Kosove :). I woke up bright and early to work on BINGO cards as part of my lesson for the day.  Marilyn drew pictures of simple vocabulary words like apple, sun, wind, and banana.  The BINGO cards then had these vocabulary words on them and a blank space for the children to rewrite the word when that words was called.

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They took almost an hour to do and we were out of the house by 9am to stop by a shop to get even more copies of the BINGO cards made.  Then we headed to Fushe Kosovo.  It was very chaotic with the little kids but once they started to get older it worked out amazingly and turned out to be a lot of fun.  I taught 6 lessons that lasted about 3 hours.  The kids were adorable and loved BINGO.  It was hilarious when they’d win and scream out BINGO.  A bunch of them came running up to hug and high five me when I first got there and before they left.  I’ll really miss them since that was the last time I would see them :( It was a great opportunity getting to volunteer while I was here and to know it had some kind of impact on the children’s lives.

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After Fushe Kosovo we went back to get cleaned up, relax, and I got all of my stuff packed up.  Then we went to a restaurant called Countryhouse that was up in the hills.  It was a pretty view.  We got a whole bunch of food and was a fun last dinner.

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Now we’ve just been sitting around relaxing together talking for the rest of the night :)

Bike Riding In Germia And Parties.

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This morning Tina picked me up in a taxi.  We headed to Germia, a national park in Kosovo.  It was a beautiful day and we planned to go bike riding. When we got to Germia, we rented a bike and then headed up the road.  The area was very woodsy and pretty.  We rode for a little and then stopped to take a break and chat.  Then we continued on until we got to a restaurant where we were going to eat breakfast.  We both got traditional Kosovar pancakes that were pretty much just fried dough ha with cheese on the side.  We sat and talked for a couple hours and then headed back down.  Luckily the whole ride to the restaurant was uphill so the way  back was all downhill and we zoomed back.  We took a taxi back to the house and said our final goodbyes :( I’m glad I met Tina and it has been a fun time with her here.

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Not to long after I got back, I walked back downtown with Marilyn to go to lunch with her friend Linda.  We ate at the restaurant “Home” again that we had ate with Katarina. I walked back up to the house after lunch and got ready to go to the two parties we have tonight. First at 4:30 was a party at the marine house inside the US Embassy.  We stood around and talked with people for awhile.  I met a man that grew up and went to Madison.  His son graduated from Stevens Point and I met his daughter that just graduated from UW Milwaukee.  Gosh what a small world.

After the marine party, we went to a going away party at A & A restaurant for Marilyn and Jim’s neighbor Maggie.  Maggie works in the British Embassy so most of the people there were from the British Embassy.  It was fun getting to sit and talk with people.  The British Ambassador actually sat with us for a long time.

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The food was buffet style and it was crazy.  They first brought out 50 million different appetizers, then a bunch of pastas, next were different meats, and then a bunch of fruit, and then little desserts.  It was all so good and filling.  Marilyn and I left once it got pretty late since we had to go to Fushe Kosove in the morning to teach.

 

Fushe Kosove and Dessert Party

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Today  I would be helping out at Fushe Kosove again.  I walked to ASK at the meeting place and jumped into the TIP van that drove us to Fushe Kosove.  When we got there Avdil was teaching a literacy class and the women were coming in to make the soap that raises money to send their children to school.  I didn’t have the German class until 3 o’clock so I watched the women make the soap for a little bit.

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Then some of the girls asked me to hangout with them on the balcony and insisted we take pictures together haha.  So they had a fun time switching off wanting to be in a photo with me and then getting to take one on my iPhone.  I was surprised when I told them to smile they kind of laughed at me but I guess a lot of people don’t smile in pictures here.

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At 3 o’clock, Katarina and I taught a German class to the younger men again.  This time only two students showed up though.  We road in the TIP van back and then I walked home.  At home I helped get things ready and got ready myself because we were having people over for dessert.  At 8 o’clock everyone that lives in Jim and Marilyn’s apartment complex and also the US Ambassador came over.  We served the orange cake and brownies we made and then sat around and talked awhile.  Everyone worked in the US Embassy there, or they were a spouse, so I learned a lot from all of them.  It was a very fun group of people and I had a good time.

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Standing to the right of me is the US Ambassador and her husband.

 

Janjevo And Lunch With Katarina.

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Today we had to get up early to leave the house by 7:20am to catch the bus to Janjevo.  We took a taxi to the bus and then sat on the bus for awhile until it was time to go.  The bus started moving but then randomly stopped.  Avdil, the man we teach with, stopped the bus to tell us to get off and that he was going to drive us haha.  We always have such close calls with this bus.  We met his son who we dropped off along the way at the site they are building their new house.  When we got to Janjevo, we walked up the big hill to get to the school like last time.  While we were walking I found this little guy just lounging around on the side of the road… haha

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This time a lot less kids showed up because the time was changed to an early time today.  Instead of doing the two different classes for 30min, I just taught for 30min and then Avdil taught for a little bit.  I worked on different emotions with the kids so that they could then answer the question “How are you?” when asked.  We also worked on body parts and what they do like you can bend your elbow or wiggle your fingers.

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After class, Avdil dropped us back off in Pristina.  We stopped at this cool fruit market for some fruits and vegetables and then made another few stops along the way.  Then we went to a restaurant called Home to have lunch with our friend Katarina who I teach German classes with.  She was so interesting to talk to and I heard so many cool stories.  She is getting married soon so she told us all about her plans for the honeymoon.  They will be traveling around Africa for a month, going on safaris, visiting some family, and also camping out some of the nights.  So cool!  It was a very enjoyable lunch :)

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After lunch we came back to the house.  I got some reading time in and also writing some more curriculum plans.  Then we made some dinner and just got done watching a German film called Run Lola Run.  I am not sure what to think of it…. It was super weird but the main character Lola was a redhead so I had to watch it :) haha.  Now just finishing up the blog, going to write in my journal, and go to bed.  Goodnight everyone :)

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Today was an extremely chill day.  I got all the rest of my postcards sent out, caught up on all these extremely long blogs, went for a little run, watched tv, and ate way more than I should have like normal ha.  I had chinese food for the first time here and it was actually pretty good.  We also made brownies :) yummmmm. I don’t even have a single picture for today.

S/O to the Blackhawks for winning the cup last night! Looks like I’ll be needing to get a new shirt when I get back to the states!

Also a S/O to my Grandma Morris and my cousin Bria on their birthdays today :) love you both!

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Climbing Up St. John’s Fortress And Finally Back Home In Kosovo.

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Today we decided to climb up the mountain and through St. John’s Fortress.  There was a path of stone steps or rocks that zig-zagged up the mountain.  Sometimes pieces of the steps were missing because it was so hold.  It was about a 45 minute walk up the mountain.  We first came across a little chapel that was very pretty.  Once we got higher we began walking through different buildings that were part of the fortress.

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Once we got to the top it was absolutely beautiful!!!! The mountains were surrounding us and really it can’t even be described in words!

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Sadly we had to make our trek back down the mountain eventually.

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After we got down, we started on the rest of our long drive back home.  We finally got home around 7pm, had dinner, lounged around, and went to bed!

Goodbye Croatia And Our Night In Kotor, Montenegro.

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Today we had to say our goodbyes to everyone on the island.  We tried to go to Sunday morning mass but couldn’t find a single one after searching through 3 cities.  We went over to Minister Ceku’s for coffee and then we all went to Melay’s for breakfast.

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We said our thank you’s and goodbyes to everyone and headed for the ferry back.  Then we drove for forever until we finally arrived in Kotor, Montenegro.  We were going to be staying in a hotel for the night.

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We found a small restaurant that we could eat outside at and watch everyone around us.  I visited a couple of the stores and then we walked around the town to see all the buildings.  Of course I got some ice cream too :)

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Jim and Marilyn went to bed while I found a cafe near the hotel to sit and write my journal.  It was such a beautiful night and fun to sit outside and watch all the people around me.