Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fond Farewells

::Hannah (6/14)

It’s absolutely amazing how quickly these two weeks have gone by—it’s already our last day in  Kosovo! We started off by driving to the US Embassy to meet with some staff and talk about our thoughts on our trip and the program. After going two by two through security, we all donned our visitor badges and were led by escort through the Embassy. We passed through barred gateways and thick metal doors with heavy locks and went up a stairway and through an atrium before finally arriving at a large conference-style table. The meeting was brief—we recounted our favorite parts of the trip, learned about a variety of Embassy-sponsored programs, and even were informally quizzed on any knowledge of the Albanian language that we picked up while we were here. We were all excited to see the inside of a US Embassy and meet some of the employees there!

After the meeting, the afternoon was all ours. We had a lovely lunch at a cute café called Amelie,  then shopped, packed, and made patriotic cards for our Kosovar friends thanking them for their unmatched hospitality, kindness, and warmth. Finally we met up with all the Kosovar alumnae and people involved with the project at one of our favorite restaurants for one final dinner together. We had some high-ranking visitors take the time to attend, as well, including the head of the Olympic Committee and a top-ranking ministry official. In an act consistent with the incredible Kosovar generosity, each of us was presented with a full Kosovar national team uniform, among other wonderful gifts. Aside from exchanging gifts, we also shared feedback, laughs, and of course a bunch of pictures to post on Facebook!

Tonight we’re laying low, packing, and getting to bed early in preparation for our 4:00am wake up. Tomorrow we ship back out to the states!

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