Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Saying Goodbye

Not that long ago, I said my goodbyes to the people, my life in, and the town of Makedonska Kamenica. While I certainly had my ups and downs there, it was my home for the past two years and what a weird feeling it was to leave. I started saying my goodbyes about two weeks before I left as I knew the time would disappear much faster than I anticipated.

There are many times throughout this Peace Corps experience that I have questioned whether I have made any difference here because it is hard to know. My last few days at site, I realized just how many people there do care about me and I have made an impact on. Saying goodbye was a lot harder than I thought it would be. There were way more tears shed than I anticipated. My last day of school, I had students bawling their eyes out in the halls. My last na gosti to my former neighbours left the girls sobbing. And worst, my host mother. It is still a little hard thinking about. 

As I said a final goodbye to my host parents, my host mother burst into tears and told me it was the saddest day of her life. Her daughter moved to Italy 10 years ago and she said that was easier because she knew her daughter would come back, but she didn't know if she would ever see me again. As I climbed onto my packed Berovo bus with tears rolling down my cheeks, I was clearly the object of curiosity on the bus. I spent the entire ride to Shtip wiping away tears and listening to sad songs on my iPod while the man across the aisle spent the entire ride looking at me perplexed. 

As I was saying my goodbyes, I tried to make sure I took a photo with everyone. While I didn't get quite everyone, I took quite a few.
One of the Babas in my old neighbourhood
Keti, Ivona, and Martin, three of the cutest kids in my old neighbourhood. Keti's English is fantastic for a 7th grader, mostly because she isn't afraid to speak and make mistakes.
Marija was my neighbour at my old house and I spent many nights at her house
Sara was another neighbour girl at my old house
Some of my 7th graders with the gift they gave me
These girls are amazing English students!
Veneta and Karolina are two of my GLOW girls
Monika is another neighbour girl I would visit
Monika's brother Hristijan
Brankica was a GLOW girl and Oliver was one of my YMLP boys. I am hoping Oliver gets to study in America next year.
My host father, Blagoj
My host mother, Svetlana
My counterpart and I decided not to say goodbye to each other because neither one of us wanted to. This way, I have to go back and visit her. My camera batteries were dead when I went to Lozovo to say goodbye unfortunately, so I didn't get any photos with my family there. This just means I have to go back and see them again I guess!

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