I wrote "Again" because I once entitled a post "Home Sweet Home" back in November, only I was referencing Albania, not America. But alas, here I am at my home (well my parents' home anyway) in the States and for the past week I have:
2. Ate (and flushed it all down with Dr. Pepper)
3. Spent insane amounts of time with old friends
4. And I have allowed my suitcases to remain in the center of my floor without unpacking them, I guess just magically awaiting for someone else to do it!
While these four things have definitely been occupying my time, and while I love being here with family and friends and getting used to life again here in Mississippi, I must say that I really miss Albania, probably more than I had thought I would. I miss the people that I used to see everyday. I miss the mountains. I miss walking everywhere, and I would continue to do so if Jackson, MS believed in sidewalks and if suburbia America hadn't taken over and things weren't so spread out. I miss my friends. I miss byrek. I miss walking across the Lana River in Tirana and wanting to hold my nose for a few seconds. I miss my hair salon. Oddly enough I even kind of miss random people asking me questions in the street. But most of all (except for people of course) I miss speaking Albanian!!! English is just not fabulous enough!
Sadly I don't think I will be continuing my blogging, so this will be the last time to toast "Gezuar." I will be starting a Masters/Ph.D program at the University of Texas in Austin this fall, where I will continue my studies of anthropology and of course Albania. Technically this isn't goodbye because hopefully one day soon I'll live in Albania again and will have plenty to share of my experiences.
I must say that while this year has had it's moments, various challenges and difficulties, to say that I enjoyed it would be an understatement. I have learned and grown so much, more than I thought an individual could do in such a short period of time. And I have established bonds and connections that I pray will last a lifetime. So I guess what I really need to say is "Thanks Albania." Albania has truly been a gift for me - sometimes when we receive gifts we're so excited to see what's inside that we hurriedly unwrap the presents, anxiously awaiting to know the contents of the present. But I think in Albania's case, I had to allow the gift to open itself to me, and for this reason I feel that made the experience that much more valuable than me trying to open it for myself.
Thanks to all of you for reading - hope you found it interesting and enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing! If you know any Albanians in Austin, let me know! GEZUAR!