Recently I mentioned that I had had my most awesome week in Albania. I should have also mentioned that the awesomeness applies to my work week. Yes, that's right, I had an entire week of goodness on the work front.
Please note that small things are considered huge milestones for me now. I am not so sure that was different before but now I care more about them.
The week went like this:Sunday.
I am having coffee at Katie's house and I tell her I would like her help in setting up an English class. I didn't really want to teach English per se so I (or Katie, but since this is MY awesome week, I'm gonna take credit) suggested having an after-school group where students can bring in homework from the English class and I could help them. This is a great fit for many reasons. I don't have to mess with creating lesson plans (yay), I am not competition for private English courses (yay), I will be able to give the students more individual attention than they receive in the classroom (yay), oh and the students "should" have a decent level of English already (yay). Later that evening while having another coffee (it's a frequent occurence) I mention my plan to my supervisor Emiljano. He says we can check with the director of the library to see if a room is available. I was a little doubtful about this even though a previous volunteer had used the library because the director had told Katie that the room could not be used.Monday.
I wake up early and feel refreshed. I make it to the office on time. I think I might have even shaved that morning. That combination of events never happens which makes me doubt the factuality of my recollection. Oh well, this is my awesome week. Later that day Emiljano and I head over to the library. We find the director, which is not as easy as it sounds. We, I explain in English and broken Albanian, Emiljano translates the Albanian part (I may be generous on some of the details but I am not delusional), and to my surprise the director agrees. Awesome.
Katie tells me later that day that she talked with her English classes. The Homework Help Club (lame name but I have to focus my energy here) will happen on Wednesday and Thursday from 3pm to 4pm.Tuesday.
I have a coffee with Ray, the other volunteer living in Berat. We discuss a plan for a project. At the suggestion of a friend at UNDP (United Nations Development Program), we begin to craft a project to create audio guides for tourist in Berat. The project is pretty doable and funding, though not easily, is available.
Tuesday is also tutoring day. I am never really prepared for it. I don't really do any homework and I often don't feel like going but my tutor is so sweet. She always makes me feel like I am making progress, though my need for actual progress is always apparent. But wait, I forgot this is my awesome week. Now I remember that I spoke fluently without even a trace of an accent. Ok, that's a complete lie.Wednesday & Thursday
Homework Help Club happens. That's pretty awesome. I would also like to point out that I managed to get the room unlocked. A seemingly simple task but such an accomplishment here. I went over around 2pm and the director was gone. I saw a lady from my neighborhood and told her what I was doing. She then talked to the cleaning lady who fortunately had the keys to the room. Thursday, even though I had said I would be needing the room, the keys were with the director and he had left early. Is it still leaving early if you leave a few hours before you are suppose to EVERY day?
We end up using the break room and then head to the internet cafe to do some research, so that worked out.
Sidenote: A man came in asking for someone. He then realized I was American and insisted that we had spoken on the phone. Since I never answer the phone here I doubted his claim. He said we had talked and met on a bus. Granted I have trouble remembering everyone I meet but none of this was ringing a bell. He asked me to give him my number. I am hesitant to do this so I played dumb, though I wasn't really playing since I had no idea what he was talking about and only understood part of what he was saying. Luckily a coworker comes in and provides a distraction. He shows me my supposed cell phone number and it wasn't mine. I tell him that we have not met and that he probably confusing me with the Americans that were here before. On that news, he relents and leaves. I am just not comfortable giving out my number to any and everyone.Friday.
Ray and I meet with Eva from the Municipality about our project. She's on board. She's great so I am excited to work with her. Plus she speaks English, always a plus. That evening some friends come over and we had a great time just chilling at my place. We also ate great food that we prepared by ourselves. Yummy.
That was my most awesome week yet. Things just clicked. That never happens. It was such an awesome feeling. I accomplished something, I contributed, I had fun, I was recharged. Now if that's not an awesome week, I don't know what is.