It’s crazy to think that I’m just about halfway through with my internship. It feels like time has flown by, yet I simultaneously feel like I’ve lived here for months (probably because Skopje feels like home to me now). I recently wrapped up my first project, which was carrying out a mental health and stress coping workshop.
I am now moving forward with 2 new projects: the first is developing physician guidelines for sensitivity towards patients who are LGBTI+, and the second is developing Macedonian public policy to help eliminate intersectional discrimination in healthcare institutions.
I’ve established routine, and am really enjoying the completely separate life I live here versus in Ann Arbor or my hometown. The only thing that’s not routine are my weekend plans. Last weekend, Alex (another intern in Skopje) and I headed to Sofia, Bulgaria.
Sofia is without a doubt one of the most enchanting cities I have ever seen. I fell in love with the warmth of the people, the bustling streets and the quieter neighborhoods, the abundance of historical sites/cathedrals/buildings, and the cafe culture. We spent the weekend leisurely walking through the different areas of the city. Sofia had many other tourists, which has its pros and cons, but one major pro was the number of activities catered to tourists. We got to go on a free Bulgarian food tour and taste food from 5 local restaurants. Since Sofia is a more well-established Balkan city, we saw Starbucks and McDonalds for the first time since heading abroad! But of course, opted for local cafes and restaurants 🙂
If I had to pick another international place to live, I’d pick Sofia in a heartbeat. I know I’ll be back someday 🙂