Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Real Work

The past few days have been super busy and stressful. We have had a lot to accomplish, lots of confusion, and frustration with my novice language level. At the end of this week we will all find out what site we will eventually be living and working in for the next two years. It will be great to finally be able to learn more about our living situations and our working conditions.

Learning the Albanian language has proved to be quite a difficult task. At first, I was doing well with the language and now I am able to create simple sentences and communicate on a basic level with my host family and various Albanians. The first 10 weeks of being in the Peace Corps is devoted to training, and part of the training includes learning the language. The goal is to master the Albanian language in 10 weeks. We will see how that goes...

My host family believes that because I have been in Albania for about 4 weeks I should be fluent and able to communicate about pretty much everything they want to talk about. The biggest issue with speaking and communicating with my host family is that they speak in a village dialect. Many small villages have their own dialect of the Albanian language. Because my host family speak in dialect it is frequently difficult to understand them and for them to understand me. But overall, communication in Albania is becoming easier and easier each day.

As a volunteer, I will be teaching English as a second language (TEFL). Part of testing you and your knowledge of the Albanian classrooms and education system is a two week long practicum where you teach and observe 14 classes. Therefore, next week and the following week I will be teaching English to various grades/years. I have begun to start to prepare for these lessons. It will be interesting to see other volunteers in a more professional setting.

Current volunteers have assured me that training is the most stressful and busiest you will ever be in the next two years. It is nice to know that I won't want to go to bed at 9 pm every night for the next 2 years.

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