Peace Corps did a great job preparing me to come to site and have nothing to do, to deal with a lot of alone time. I have American alone time – I haven’t been out of Debar for a month now – but no free time, and some days I have so much to do that I end up frozen, sitting in front of my heater unable to decide whether to study Macedonian, study Albanian, visit my family, plan for tomorrow’s lessons, research grants, begin planning some of the clubs I want to do, or relax and read. As a result I never relax and also rarely feel like I’m doing as much as I should be doing. But what I’m starting to realize is that no matter what I’m doing, it will never be the right thing to someone – even as I’m beginning to do more work at school, my director wants to know why I’m not learning more Albanian, and why I’m studying more Macedonian. I have to learn Macedonian because my family is Macedonian, but I need to study more Albanian lest my co-workers think I’ve given up on their language. Pretty much I never know what I should be doing.
So, I didn’t have the best day, canceled my Albanian and Macedonian lessons after work so I could finally relax and have a day for myself, but then was too racked with guilt to take advantage of my free time. It was a beautiful day, though, and I went on a walk. The photo is of the road leading to Albania – walk about 30 more minutes from where I took this and you hit the border. In just a few days I can hit Albania if I want to (we’re not allowed to leave the country during our first three months at site) but, you know, I think it’ll be a while since right now I don’t even want to get a combi 30 minutes down the road to the next volunteer. The first three months is about finding your place at work and at site, but I think I’ve still got some work as far as traveling goes – it’s probably healthy to get out of site a little more often than I do.