So I finished the first mini-week in Kosovo. Because of cheap flights and all, I’ll be leaving on a Saturday, so this was my one partial week.
I finally got some work to do at the office. I will be working on one main project this summer that has mostly to do with the Kosovo Bar Exam. Right now I’m trying to research bar exam procedures for nearby countries (Balkans), and the EU and the US. Eventually this will become a report on bar exam “best practices,” that will be given to the government for consideration.
The other project has to do with a survey that they’re putting together of law professors. I’ll help out with that, although it isn’t my main responsibility.
Both of my projects are part of the UNDP Kosovo Justice and Security Rule of Law Project, which is pretty cool. You’ve got to have well trained, standardized lawyers and judges as a foundation for justice and human rights. I’m psyched to be a part of this project!
After work I went to an open air bar/restaurant/lounge with my co-workers Blerta and Rrezarta. We drank iced tea and they smoked. Rrezarta’s brother owns the place, and it was really nice. Pristina has “cafe culture.” People hang out in cafes for hours. A lot of people go out drinking after work, but the goal is rarely to get drunk. In fact, the drink is as likely to be juice, iced tea or coffee as beer or wine. It’s a social thing.
Iced Peach Tea
After that I attempted to walk home. I made it home in about 30 minutes today. The walk home is more uphill, and I cut through the University.
Abandoned old church on the University property
I only got turned around one time (I had really great hand-written directions “go to the end of the street and turn left at the auto-repair” for the morning trip, but they were less effective on the trip back), and then I sort of got lost in my neighborhood. The streets are so crooked, and everything looks the same once you get into the residential place. I try to remember landmarks. The problem is, I’ve gotten lost so many times in the neighborhood that everything looks familiar. And I can’t remember whether it’s familiar because it’s the right way, or it’s familiar because I’ve been lost there before.
Red roses that people plant in front of their apartments and in window boxes
But after wandering down probably every side street in the neighborhood, I found my place! I bought two 1.5 L bottles of water for 1 Euro (total), and climbed the bazillion steps up to the apartment.
Once I get home, and check Facebook and Apartment Therapy, I sometimes forget I’m so far from home. I think that it’s good to pace yourself when doing this sort of cross-cultural thing. When I was in China I slept a lot the first few weeks, and allowed myself a few adventures, and a lot of rest. There’s time for exploration once jet lag is no longer a factor!
Speaking of exploration, I got some more information on the UN trips. There’s one next weekend (weekend of the 10th) to Macedonia, and one the following weekend to Greece. I need to get a hold of the whole schedule. If there’s one every weekend, I should pick the four or five that interest me most, and pace myself. If there are just a few, I should take advantage of these first trips. So I’ll find out more about that soon, I hope.
I do have plans for this weekend. I got in contact with an American woman who knows the pastor from my church in Rochester. He was a missionary in Kosovo in 1999. He was here for just a year, but this woman has been here ever since. She said she has a short-term team arriving, and that they’re having an orientation tomorrow that I’m welcome to attend. She’ll cover some cultural and historical stuff. It’s in the morning, and I’m going to try to go. And she will bring me to church on Sunday. So I’m excited for that!
Well, I’ve stayed up as long as I wanted to (10pm), so I’ll probably let myself fall asleep now. Goodnight from Pristina!
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