Even though I still have two and a half weeks left of my internship, this past weekend marked my final excursion out of Skopje. I feel so lucky to have been able to visit six countries while I was here, and when I look at my passport, I feel happy seeing all of the stamps (taking the bus through different countries gets you a lot of stamps). This weekend, Halle (the other intern) and myself went on a short, but well worth it, trip to Tirana, Albania, and Ohrid, Macedonia.
As the capital of Albania, Tirana is really where everything happens, and it shows. I was surprised to see how busy of a city it was; we arrived at 6:00am on Saturday, and there were so many people out and about. One great thing about the city is all of the fun color and art that is mixed in. I learned from my coworkers that Tirana is working to shed its communistic style by painting the buildings and bringing in artists to do murals. All of it makes for a very bubbly and picturesque city.
Tirana, oddly enough, also gave me a piece of home the minute we got into the city. As we walked through a park in the city center, we saw a group of 15-20 LDS (Mormon) missionaries who were serving in either Tirana or in Greece. I’ve grown up in Utah for most of my life, and although I do not identify as LDS, it was like getting a glimpse of home. Two of them actually came up and talked to us, because I was wearing a Michigan shirt, and one of the missionaries was from Ann Arbor. It really is a small world.
After Tirana, we took another bus back to Macedonia the next day in order to see Ohrid, which is the most touristy city in Macedonia. It is situated on Lake Ohrid, which serves partially as the border between Macedonia and Albania, and took in the sites and sounds of the lake. Unfortunately, due to a long wait at the border and less-than-ideal bus schedules, we only got to spend a few hours in town, but it was enough to feel like a fun getaway to the beach.
As for work, things are both busy and very slow. The office itself is busy, but my work is slow at the moment, but I think that will change in a day or two. Tomorrow is a national holiday, and most people are taking Friday off as well, so everyone seems to just be trying to get through today. At work later today, I’ll be uploading this quarters Legal Dialogue journal, which is a legal journal published by my work. Both Halle and I have articles being published, so it’s very exciting! This is my first work being officially published, and although it is just a short article (5 and a half pages), I am still excited. I wrote about the effects of social media on the visibility of human rights infractions, so it was a fun topic to explore.
Two weeks from today is my last day of work, and I leave just a few days after that, so I am really at the end now! Here’s to a productive and fun final two weeks.