January 2013

I’ve attempted to write a new blog entry for a while. It’s not that I’m not doing anything… completely. It’s that.. life is slow and the news isn’t the great highlights that summer can bring. Winter is.. showers twice a week, seeing my breath in my kitchen as I write this, cold, bleak and dark. I have some snipets from starts that I’ll try to bring together to give an idea of how I would sum up the past few months.

A few things have been experienced- loss, hunger, and struggle. I have lost Ryan, our kitty, and my mind at times. I have hungered for creative inspiration, food, friendship, and help. I have struggled with independence, Albania, returning home, the cold, and making the right choices.

A dramatic change has been a sudden ascension into being single and independent. At long-last Ryan suddenly returned to America at the beginning of November and by the end of the month I made the decision that it was best to be on my own for a bit. My number one support network, he knows me and my PC service best. But it was with the good intentions of getting to the point that I may be achieving right now.

Sometimes in the past months, I have spent my PC stipend foolishly. There is a really great book called Living Poor, A Peace Corps Chronicle by Moritz Thomeson. It is completely not what life of Peace Corps is like now, but it’s a really interesting read about how it was. So yes, Living Poor Albania 2012 was nothing, comparatively. It’s beans and rice, finishing off anything that may have come in a care package. I know it’s all my fault to have spent foolishly while in the capital or perhaps traveling too much. At times we do say, I really can’t wait until I’m no longer poor, though.

Coming home reminded me that poverty perhaps for me is only a temporary ailment. That those I left behind in my village, even if they are a cun looking for a wife in order to get a green card, are in a very different situation. And going home, I was overwhelmed by the wealth that is every where.

I appreciate immensely the generosity shown to me while home by my family and friends.

I’ve been continuing work with the orphanage. We won a Friends of Albania grant to pay for sewing equipment and materials for a program with the kids. Writing letters to organizations that might be able to provide some assistance for heating costs has yielded us a donation of 200 liters from the Red Cross! Yes, writing letters works!

Since I’ve gotten back from the amazing shock of the US, I’ve made some small steps. Independence is still a rather new territory for me, but I’m exploring it. I’ve refrained from drinking alcohol this month so far. I’ve had only one glass in 15 days.

With Tani’s help, the gas heater is set-up. It requires a rock to hold down the gas release button. But I’m not too bad off with heat. I’ve grown rather comfortable and accustomed to several layers of clothes, being sure to always wear slippers, and making a nest in my big empty bed.

I guess the gist of this blog entry is that I’m getting by. That some exciting things happened that upset the balance for a bit and that I continuously go through everyday trying situations like.. waiting for the bus, lack of water after 5 pm, and regular power outages. Now, I’m just trying to keep going and keep trying. 

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