I tried to tell my host dad today that I don’t know where the time has gone.

Halfway through the sentence, I realized I didn’t know how to say gone. I also didn’t know if this saying translated in Macedonian.

This happens a lot.

In English and Macedonian, I really don’t know where the time has gone.

I joined 43 other volunteers in Philadelphia on Sept. 12. In one week, we’ll officially swear in as volunteers. (Right now, we’re trainees.) The following day, we’ll move to our new sites, where we’ll spend the next two years.

One week till two years.


We had a movie night this week and to get in the holiday spirit we watched Home Alone.

While I’m looking forward to exploring my community, getting to know my students and getting to work, I can’t say I feel the same about leaving my extended Sveti Nikole family.

Even without the security blanket of my friends and host family here, it’s a comfort to know that my Macedonian has come a long way.

When I arrived in Sveti Nikole, I knew how to say my name, that I was from America and pretty much responded to every address with “good” or “no good,” “yes” or “no.”

I found out how much I’ve learned yesterday. Well, that’s not true. The staff member conducting my language proficiency interview learned, but I won’t find out my results till Monday.

A language proficiency interview (LPI) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the tool Peace Corps uses to grade our language skills. (Intermediate mid, intermediate high, advanced low, etc.) We have a conversation with a staff member for about 20 minutes and using only Macedonian, we answer questions, talk about ourselves, ask our interviewer questions and complete a role play.

We had a practice run at our interview earlier in PST. I was stressed.

Mac Culkin Home Alone 4

I knew as soon as I sat down, I’d feel fine, but up until that moment I thought for sure I had accidentally forgotten all the Macedonian words I knew.

I entered yesterday endeavoring to relax.

It didn’t work. The first thing I told my interviewer was that I was fairly certain I had left all the words I knew in the hallway.


Luckily, it wasn’t her first rodeo.

Once we got started, I told her about my host family here, including how we watch Cила together every night.

Home Alone Tv

Then, she asked me about the show. I didn’t know how to say Cила and Boran married at gunpoint, her ex-boyfriend is paralyzed after a gun fight and she’s plotting to exact her revenge on Boran’s cousin, who murdered her brother. Instead, I said the show is about both families, who are sometimes happy, sometimes sad. Oh and Cила cries all the time.

I’ll take it.

I’ve been impressed with the Peace Corps language program so far and I’m excited to see where I fall on the spectrum. (And then the competitor in me is going to try to bump up my ranking with each subsequent interview.)

I’m also excited to savor my last week in Sveti Nikole. We had a movie night last night. (I bet you can’t guess what we watched.) We’ll have our last Hub Day in Skopje on Monday. Our last language class is on Tuesday. We’re cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner for our host families on Thursday. It’s also my host dad’s birthday, so I’m making a cake. We have our formal swearing in ceremony in Skopje on Friday. Then Saturday, our two years as volunteers begin.

Aјде да одиме! (Let’s go!)



One week till two years

4 thoughts on “One week till two years

  1. Love following your experience. Now you have a far better idea of the language issue and what bilal experienced in his first few months in the USA. Now however that is a fading memory as he has all the language skill he needs and more. Watch this Sundays Times for a years update.


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