Contrary to popular belief due to the current content of my blog, I AM actually required to do some work during training. This work is also known as "Practicum" and the tasks to be completed are divided by sector, thus the Health Volunteers have different guidelines than Community Development and TEFL Volunteers.
The HE Practicum consisted of multiple class observations in the villages and Elbasan as well as teaching a 1) first grade class 2) seventh grade class 3) community class and 4) completing a community project based on the needs and wants of the village.
I was paired up with Carrie and Ben for my 1st & 7th grade lessons where we taught road/pedestrian safety and drunk driving respectively. The classes we gave were a mix of things- broken Albanian with much help from the HE coordinator, a series of things that worked and things that were unsuccessful, and a huge learning experience. Overall I was pleased with the classes- especially our drunk driving class because I feel that the older kids took a lot of information and will use it in the future. Speaking in Albanian is still very difficult, but I tried my best and I think they understood me for the most part.
For our community practicum, all 5 of us worked together to make a health information bulletin board for the new health center in Bishqem and give a lesson on Breast Cancer. The session went crazy, and we ended up fielding a million questions from the nurses themselves!
Last but not least we completed our community practicum yesterday. We went for a "School Beautification" approach, but the director of the school in very uncooperative at times, so I'm pleased to announce it all came together okay. We divided the kids into 3 groups: one played a game about the environment, one painted the school, and the other picked up trash. At the end of it all, we were trying to take a picture of the kids with all the trash bags (we DID get one quick one) before they started BEATING each other with the trash bags, they ripped open, and the trash we all picked up went flying. Things got out of control for a short while, but we never could have seen that coming, so I just have to laugh about it.
Yes, success.... still learning a lot over here, still learning the language, still shocked I've completed 7.5 weeks, and so very excited to go meet my future work counterpart and see Berat next week. Until then... I hope to hear from all of you very soon!