Seeing as my swearing in ceremony is in the morning and I’m too anxious to sleep, I figured I would take this time to publicly acknowledge some people who I could not have made it through Pre-Service Training without!
Christina, I thank the stars everyday that they brought me to you. I’m so proud of you and the woman you are and will continue to become throughout your service here in Kosovo. I never expected to bond so closely with someone here, but I am so glad it happened with you. There’s no one else I would rather be a mess with. You are such a genuine person and soul and I know that I can always trust you to be there for me; and I hope you know you have that in me as well. Of everything I’m going to miss about PST, you are at the top of the list. Thank god you’re only a short bus ride away! I’d lose my mind without you for two years! I love you and I can’t wait to start our service together!
Jasmin, the only way to describe her is with one word: goddess. Jasmin is someone I clicked with from the very beginning and it’s because she has the kind of heart that grows when she shares it with others. Jasmin, thank you for being such an amazing friend to me. Your kindness and constant hype will always be appreciated by me. I am so proud of the woman you are today and I can’t wait to see your light shared with the rest of Kosovo.
Katie, you’re another one I didn’t expect to click so well with, but I’m glad to call you my friend. You’re just so funny and kind-hearted. We can bond forever over memes and random stuff and it’s always so much fun with you. I know you will thrive here in Kosovo and it’s because you are such a dedicated and wonderful person and I appreciate that so much.
I’m not used to having male friends, but Genci, you’re a welcome surprise to my life as well. I know in the beginning I used to mess with you a lot, but that’s only because I really wanted to be your friend but had no idea how to bond or connect with you! I am glad to see that even now that we are actually friends, I still get to make fun of you though! You’re someone who I can always count on to be positive and happy when I need a dose of that in my life.
Valmira, I remember first meeting you at the beginning of service in Gjilan. I read your bio in the handbook and knew right away we would be good friends (I’m glad I was right)! You were forced to be my Shqip teacher and to teach me about the local culture, but you chose to be my friend and I value that friendship so much. Now that PST is over and we will be far apart, I hope we will still stay connected! I am so proud to see your successes as well and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.
Even though you’re over 6,000 miles away back in the US, I still need to thank you Mama. You have supported me from the very first steps of my application to Peace Corps and I want you to know that I appreciate you so much. You constantly reaffirm my goals and dreams and I hope I can make you proud.
Probably the most uncertain aspect of Peace Corps for me was knowing I would be living with complete strangers for 10 weeks. I’m so happy to say now that these are no strangers, but my family. They taught me about Kosovar hospitality, family, and how to make a delicious flija! I am emotional thinking about having to leave them. And that’s so strange considering how short a time I’ve lived with them, but they really have embraced me like a son and I will always have a place in my heart for them.