Changes & Comfort | Week 6 in Skopje

In an attempt to construct educated legislative propositions regarding LGBT+ healthcare, I’ve been doing a lot of desk research lately. It’s been insightful to rummage through existing Macedonian policy and compare it to USA policy. I’m learning a lot about how other countries operate as well as how much the US leads and influences other countries. The work that I’m doing is also catapulting me into a field I’m considering staying in long term: public policy. I’m realizing that while I enjoy the concept of medicine, I would love to work on the structure of healthcare, too. I’m now strongly considering pursuing an MD/MPP post-grad. I never thought this internship would have such a profound impact on my desired career path.

Last Saturday, Alex (another UMich intern) and I headed to Tirana, Albania for a quick visit. Tirana is up there competing with Sofia for my favorite Balkan excursion 🙂 I adored the random sculptures, electric box art, and all of the sunflower paintings (which are part of an advocacy project for revitalizing a local hospital).

The streets were artistic, the people were lovely, and the entire city was colorful and vibrant. We got an amazing view from Sky Tower, a revolving café.

Clearly, we really do love Tirana.

We spent Sunday in Ohrid, Macedonia, which is Macedonia’s most popular tourist area. It was funny; when we arrived in Ohrid, we were comforted by people speaking Macedonian because it’s what’s familiar to us now even though we can’t understand it! Hearing people say “zdravo” (hello) or “fala” (thanks) made me think, “wow, I love being back home”, which was a humorous realization.

The level of comfort I have here after such a short time period surprises me, and oddly enough, it’ll all end in less than 2 weeks!

One thought on “Changes & Comfort | Week 6 in Skopje

  • August 2, 2018 at 3:15 pm
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    Halle,

    I’m so glad to hear that your internship is shaping up to be a really transformative experience! Too often, people approach internships as a box to check off as part of a greater list of criteria to gain access to an industry. Internships, when done right, are really meant to be holistic, immersive learning experiences that offer a brief glimpse into what working in a certain role or industry feels like – it’s a testament to your work ethic and open-mindedness that you are receiving so much value from this experience!

    I think it’s amazing that this experience is helping to inform the options you are considering for your future – have you communicated this to your supervisor or other stakeholders? If you have not done so, I really encourage you to broach the topic – you never know what amazing advice or connections you can receive if you communicate your plan (or at the very least, what you’re considering) to someone.

    I have really enjoyed keeping up with your blog and living vicariously through your images (Seriously – your blogs are like a travel instagram account!) Best of luck over the next couple of weeks as you wrap up your experience!

    -Josh

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