October 17, 2008

Before We Go...

Unfortunately this post has to be much shorter than I'd want. It's Friday night and we're packing up for our trip beginning tomorrow to all the former Yugoslav republics: Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Montenegro. We're renting a car with some fellow PCVs and looking forward to seeing the Balkans, an area brimming with fascinating history and recent tragedy. But for now we're just stressing and trying to cram everything we need for the 10 days into a single backpack (it'll be small car with no room for lots of stuff) and making sure the house is kitten safe for the next couple of weeks. A couple of of our students are looking after little Arye while we're away.

Speaking of those students, the season's first high school debate was held at a nearby town last weekend and our kids shined. Seriously. There was a great moment when the crowd was struck silent as one of our girls served up her rebuttal. As one of my other students (a first-time debater) remarked: "I didn't realize Tina could be so confident when speaking." Needless to say, both teams were victorious on the subjects of parental responsibilty when a minor commits a crime and the efficacy of Macedonia's new one-computer-per-child policy. But most importantly, the students from all the competing schools had a great time hanging out, getting to know each other and taking part in something a little different.

My debating superstars, Bube and Tina

The debaters, post-debate

Our other major accomplishment these last two weeks has been getting our adult English classes off the ground. We have beginner, intermediate and advanced classes. The beginner class is particularly fun, as we get to start from ground zero--the alphabet, greetings, introductions, etc. The adults coming to this course are very enthusiastic and have great attitudes about learning a new language. Jillian and I have tried to apply our own impressions as language learners to these classes, remembering what worked and what didn't when we were first learning Macedonian. The atmosphere is thus far very positive.

Sorry, I've got to stop there. The kitten is tormenting Jillian as she tries to do the last of the dishes. This mostly involves jumping into the sink and licking the suds. What a weirdo. See you in two weeks!


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh Jillian! It's me, Amy Dunn! Well, now Amy Amerling. I stumbled upon your site and couldn't believe what you are doing! I am so proud of you! I too am finishing a graduate degree in education, however, I am not traveling the world (I wish!). What an accomplishment, you guys must be having the time of your life. I hope this reaches you, email me if you can: amyamerling@hotmail.com. I would love to hear about what you are up to now and catch up if we can.

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Katrina and my husband and I are current PCVs in Romania. I noticed that you put on a healthy kids camp last summer and I am interested in doing something similar here at our site next summer. I was wondering if you would be willing to send me your camp itinerary and any other information you have that is relevant to the camp. Your camp looked like a huge success and I would like to know what you did to pull it off! My e-mail is KatrinaVanagsPeck@gmail.com. Thanks in advance! Hope your trip was a blast!