Skopje and the City: Week #1

Hi all!

First of all, I’d like to apologize for the title of this week’s blog post – it’s a riff on the binge-worthy show Sex and the City, except in this case, Skopje (SKOPE-yey) is the city to be in here in Macedonia. As the capital and largest city in the county, Skopje is just bustling with people and cars. One unique characteristic that I’ve quickly picked up on is that there is hardly any sidewalk space – most of the sidewalks are where cars park, and people instead walk in the street close to the cars (with the exception of the main highway that runs through the city).

I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be in Skopje. I originally applied to this internship on a whim, and had no idea I even had a shot at securing it. However, everything has been all smiles since I’ve gotten here. I have a wonderful apartment with a tiny market right across the street (I’ve gotten into the habit of stopping there after work every day to see whats fresh for dinner, most of the locals shop this way too). So far on the job, I’ve attended a film screening about women’s rights that my office produced, attended a meeting on the need for equality for Roma citizens, and developed a centralized communication matrix for the office. By the end of my time here, I am supposed to have produced a full length policy paper for the organization, so I have been reading up on European non-discrimination laws at night to get started.

Next week will be full with travel for work, meetings with other NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and more exploration of the city on the weekend. For now, Skopje is full of fun, sun, and warmth, and I’m thrilled to see what’s ahead.

збогум за сега! (Goodbye for now, in Macedonian)

(pictures, left to right: view from my apartment building; my lovely neighborhood market; the new Orthodox church being built next to the Mother Teresa memorial (her hometown is Skopje); a city street in Skopje)

 

One thought on “Skopje and the City: Week #1

  • June 4, 2018 at 12:26 pm
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    Thanks for sharing your first experiences in Macedonia, Alex! My name is Ian Baker, and I’m the Hub’s Learning Coordinator. I’ll be following along with your experiences via the blog during your time in Macedonia, so you’ll get a comment from me on each blog post that you submit.

    I am glad to hear that you are settling in well in Macedonia. The fact that you have a small market across the street is fantastic! When I lived in Germany, the locals also went to the market almost daily to purchase fresh produce–and it sure was it tasty! It also sounds like your internship is off to a good start, which is great! One thing that you can do as your internship moves along is keep an eye out for other projects or tasks that you think the office could benefit from you doing, and then pitch those as ideas for your supervisor. In my experience, supervisors are usually very receptive to offers from staff to improve the functioning of the organization or to address an issue that the organization is facing. That could be a way to maximize the value of your internship experience even further.

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