There are some things I will never learn, like how to properly operate a computer. I had typed about two paragraphs for this entry the day before and due to my ineptness those words are lost forever. And so I move on.
This week my peers are finding out their site assignments, which in Peace Corps lingo means that their communities and their workplaces for the next two years are being revealed to them. I have known where I will be living and working since the first week that I was in Macedonia. I am fortunate enough to be living only 10 minutes from where I am currently in training. So, at the end of November I will move to Kumanovo for two years. I am super excited to know that I will not be far from my host family and that I will have an opportunity to go back and visit them often.
Kumanovo is the third largest city in Macedonia and the largest municipality in the country. I will be about thirty minutes away from the capital in the northeastern part of the country. A fellow volunteer from my training community will also be moving into the city along with me and currently there are already two volunteers serving as English teachers there. Again, I think I lucked out by having a pretty vast (in comparison to others) support system in my community.
While I am living there I will be working for Poraka Nasa – Regional Center for People with Intellectual Disability. Poraka Nasa works toward establishing equal treatment for people with intellectual disabilities and their families. The organization achieves this through respecting basic human rights, involvement of individuals in society and everyday activities, promotion of independent living and usage of community services, economic, social and legal protection, and societal integration and inclusion. It always amazes me how this part of my life keeps making a repeat appreance and I continually wonder why I am granted the opportunity to work with individuals with learning disabilities when in fact I have no formal traning but only experiencial training. These next two years will just be another example to me. I am curious to observe the differences between America and Macedonia when it comes perceptions and support of this community of people. Leave a comment for me if there is anything in particular that you would like me to make note of.
Random quotes from email and readings:
“Only by knowing ourselves can we truly understand others – and knowing from where you come is an important part of knowing who you are.”
“You should focus on being more interested than interesting.”
The Blue Sweater ~ Jacqueline Novogratz
A Chickpea Leaps
A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot
where it's being boiled.
"Why are you doing this to me?"
The cook knocks it down with the ladle.
"Don't you try to jump out.
You think I'm torturing you,
I'm giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being.
Remember when you drank rain in the garden.
That was for this."
Grace first. Sexual pleasure,
then a boiling new life begins,
and the Friend has something good to eat.
Jalal al-Din Rumi