Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The big move...

As swearing-in came to a close, the 33 of us prepared for the big move to our new homes. And while all of came with 2-3 meticulously packed bags (jamming every possible nook & cranny with something), we also managed to pick up books, papers, a medical kit, and a giant water filter from the Peace Corps. As you can imagine, repacking to move was a nightmare, and to think about trying to load all of my things onto a public bus was scary. Luckily, I have the most amazing host family who offered to drive me 2 hours to my new home of Berat.

The trip was entertaining, as I had to navigate my host dad through the city of Berat, more specifically through a series of one-way roads all the way to my house -where I had only been one time for approximately only 5 minutes. Thank you memory, we made it there safe and sound. After dropping off my things, my family took me to The White House Restaurant and treated to me to a final feast. They also bought me a whole extra pizza to take home for the first nights while I settled in- I am fairly positive they don’t think I can cook anything but pasta. On the way home from lunch, they stopped at a market and bought me groceries. They then proceeded to clean my entire house with me (sweeping and mopping), mainly because they were disgusted with how filthy dirty the place was- and it was….just DISGUSTING. The goodbye was filled with many tears- though it will certainly NOT be the last I see of them.

The first week was spent revamping the house, cleaning it from top to bottom, moving furniture, unpacking, buying new things, and figuring out how to get around my new city. After much hard work, I am very settled into my new home and LOVE my place. I feel very comfortable and live on the outskirts of town in a privately owned building. My landlord lives on the first floor, there is an Italian couple on the 2nd floor, and I am on the 3rd. The 4th is a roof with a beautiful view and a great spot for sunbathing. I also have 2 balconies and a giant front porch with a nice view of the city. I hope you can come visit me one day and see my place for yourselves! Until then, as always, there are pictures.

My new house (I'm on floor 3!)

The view from my front balcony, the front door to my house is behind me.

The gigantic foyer: rooms starting from closest doorway on left & clockwise: storage room, my bedroom, bathroom #1 & then #2, guest bedroom, and on the right cut off in the foto is the door to my living room and kitchen.

My master sweet: I did what I could with it.

The bathroom I shower in: notice it just drains onto the floor.

The bathroom with the toilet and washing machine

The guest bedroom

The living room with my wood stove to keep warm in winter

The kitchen: again, I work with what I've got.

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