Friday, March 5, 2010

March 5

I have written the nicest blog about our trip to Skopja, Macedonia last weekend but am having difficulty with the photos so will post it as soon as I get that figured out.

I've decided to come back to Iowa at the end of the month to help Kat out and wait for the baby's birth. I hope he doesn't come early but if he does we'll be ready!

We've had alot going on this week. On Tuesday we went to Pristina and had dinner with a judge from Minnesota and a woman from Texas who are here working. It was very interesting to get their prospective since they both have been here off and on for several years.

It is interesting that so many international resources have been spent on this tiny country over the last 10 years and they still don't have decent roads or dependable electricity or water. I wonder what the international priorities are. Seems like they should have gotten the basics taken care of first. (Kosovo is about the size of Charlie's Fourth Judicial District which could have been entirely paved in electrified concrete in 10 years.)

I also hired a woman to help with the housework. She is a local who was formerly employed by UNHCR (United Nations High Commission on Refugees). It seems like alot of the internationals are cutting back staff. She no longer works for them and is trying to get a cleaning business started. It was such a pleasure to meet Aferdita. She went to Germany during the war and speaks pretty good English. She is married and has three children but is the only one in her extended family with a job. She seems to be a very hard worker and I'm glad I found her. She will take good care of things while I am gone.

Tonight we are going to Pristina again for dinner with another American. We found the chocolate shop in Pristina on Tuesday and it exceeded my expectations! Can't wait to make a return trip today.

I want to get involved and volunteer here. Mitrovica doesn't have as many opportunities to do this as Pristina but there are two organizations I am interested in. One is the UNHCR (there are still alot of displaced people here) and the other is Community Building Mitrovica. CBM works to improve issues in the city both north and south. If I can't get this off the ground before I go, I will look forward to following up when I get back.

Hopefully I will be able to get the photos of Skopja figured out this weekend. It is cold and snowing here so this may be a good weekend to stay home and work on that.

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