I have officially completed 2 weeks at my internship and although I really like the people I work with and think that EMA is a great NGO, I’m struggling to have a daily work routine. Coming to Albania for this internship, I expected to be given a project to work on or assist the employees here, but the work I’ve been given is minimum. So far, I’ve been reading articles and saving ones I think can contribute to their online newsletter or help with random things around the office. This past Friday though, the organization held an information event for a model EU competition they are holding and so I got to help set up for that. Even though I’m feeling a bit discouraged, I’m trying to stay optimistic. I was thinking that this week I can try to come up with an individual project to work on since I haven’t been given anything and have been downloading UN and EU publications related to the development of Albania to try and learn more about the country’s needs.
There is another intern here from Albania named Aldo who is pretty cool and he speaks English so it’s nice that I can communicate with him. He’s been given way more to do than me (which I understand because he speaks Albanian) and told me that I shouldn’t stress about having to work and just enjoy Albania. I get where he is coming from, but I did come here to do SOMETHING. I can’t imagine just reading articles for 4 hours a day for 7 more weeks.
On a more positive note, my dad and cousin drove from our village in Montenegro to visit me and stayed for the weekend. It was nice getting to see family and spend some quality time with my dad. We ate out a lot, drank coffee a lot, and walked a lot (a LoT!!!). We randomly walked past some events while exploring Tirana which gave me the idea to go on social media and search for some things to do with the other interns. So I logged onto my computer and searched for upcoming events on Facebook for Tirana and have found some pretty cool stuff including poetry readings (in Albanian, but hey why not), music festivals, fashion shows, etc. I think this will definitely help me and the other UMich interns I’m staying here with get out more.