Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In the Blink of an Eye

Now that I am finally caught up on travel posts, I can mention what I did during my 4 day break between the Great Balkan Adventure and Athens. While Mike and Phil got to relax, I jumped on a bus and headed to the far eastern part of Macedonia for the Mak-16 COS (Close of Service) Conference. It was held at the lovely Aurora Resort and Spa in Berovo (where my friend Anna lives).
Aurora Resort and Spa in Berovo
Yup- pretty sweet digs for our final Peace Corps conference. We had 2 1/2 days to learn about the piles of paperwork we have to fill out and papers we need to write before we are allowed to leave the country, watching videos about the medical coverage available to us after we are done, the career center Peace Corps operates, and discussing what it will be like to return to America and the reverse culture shock. We also got to participate in a lottery to choose the day we officially are RPCVs. We had heard stories from previous groups of selling days or trading them for rakija and ajvar, but our group was quite calm and everyone got a day they were happy with. The first Mak-16s leave October 30th, which is so soon!
Everyone chose their days, with most people leaving the end of October or first week in November. I am at the end with Anna, leaving November 22nd.
It wasn't all work though. We did get some time to enjoy the lovely infinity pool, play games, and enjoy our last time as a whole group.
Lori, Julie, and I enjoying the pool.
Dinner with some PC Staff.
Hana, Faron, me, Julie, Michelle, Lori, and Amy
We were told to take a funny photo, however Hana and Faron weren't listening.
Taking one last photo with our Country Director before he heads to Kosovo to run their new Peace Corps program. 
But he still was able to find time to take a "Julie" photo with us.
Lori is the Ohioan version of me. 
Time for a Lozovo family photo. Not sure we know how to take a normal photo.
I guess this one is a bit more normal.
The Ladies of Lozovo: Amy, Julie, Shannon, Claire, me, Anna
And of course a "Julie" photo was necessary.
To end the conference we had a traditional Peace Corps cake (there must be a room in Peace Corps Headquarters filled with these cakes!). We also got homemade chocolates with our Country Director's face on them in celebration of his new job.
Even Peace Corps is unable to succumb to the need of certificates for everything.
Our Mak-16 collage that will be hung in the Peace Corps office. Clearly the best one yet!
One final group photo. 36 came, 31 made it to COS.
This was actually the final photo.... one big crazy family.
As the title says, my Peace Corps service has passed in the blink of an eye. I never thought that time could pass so slow (the days where I have sat in my room with absolutely nothing to do and no one to talk to), but yet so fast (only 72 days left in Macedonia). It seems fitting I post this today, because my group left America for this wonderful country two years ago today.

Happy Anniversary Mak-16s!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sara, Just want you to know how much we have enjoyed your blog. Also appreciate the links to the other blogs even though most of them weren't as good at keeping them up. thanks so much.