Okay good people I’ve returned to Burrel in not-so-great spirits. Reason? Bored silly. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am NEVER bored. I can always find something to keep me occupied. But boredom is not really the issue here…it is my reasons for being bored in the first place. I am totally uninterested in anything here. Burrel is sucking the life out of me folks. Flat-lined me dead. Seriously.
At this point in my service I am questioning my reason for even being here…seriously looking for that one reason to stay.
Okay. Let’s talk it out here. This town is like Novomoskovsk. When I served in PC in Ukraine I loved my service…wouldn’t trade a minute of it for anything. But I was finished there. Done. I did lots of projects and met lots of lovely people…some of whom I am still in touch with…but I had finished. Or so I thought. I came to Burrel and it mirrors what I left behind. I feel as though I served 2 years in Ukraine, went home for long holiday, and now I am back.
Ugh. I was looking for a new experience. There is nothing new here…nothing. The people and culture are similar, the town is the same albeit smaller, and I am living in the same exact type of situation…in a Soviet bloc-style apartment house with 4 perfectly aligned buildings facing each other onto a shared yard. Screaming kids 24-7, noisy neighbors, cheap goods and sadly, lots of stray animals.
Worse still: 2 hours to the nearest hub, not being able to shop in peace and relatively anonymity, no train system to speak of and a lunatic landlady who thinks because my language skills are not good then I must be stupid.
It’s no secret to the folks I am serving with that I am unhappy with where I was placed. All of the folks in my service sector were told we would be placed in big cities. I was thrilled! There’s lots of great art things happening here. I would be able to seek out and explore new art and artists from a new culture! Well. No. Everyone EXCEPT ME was sent to a big city.
I talked to one of the BIG guys in the front office about changing sites. He told me the policy is that no way they change people's sites here in Albania. I told him who did he think he was talking to? Of course, we are both RPCV’s (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers). I appealed to him from that standpoint and he agreed to take it into consideration. For the sake of my sanity, I do hope he was serious.
Anyway…I don’t want this PC experience to turn into a “job”. God forbid I go to work, come home, and that’s it. I can do that anywhere. And as for leaving my site…I may turn into one of those people who are never home. I will be leaving here every weekend looking for someplace to crash. Any volunteer, any place…every damn weekend. And I HATE traveling! (I’m okay once I arrive but it’s the getting there that is the worst).
Now, on the home front. What exactly would I do if I did go home? Probably the same thing I was doing before…looking for a job and TRUST ME no one is looking to hire somebody staring at her 57th birthday in a little over a month.
There is only one thing I am positive of now, and that is if I do go home, it will be not be because the ‘powers that be’ decide I need to stay here in Burrel but because I couldn’t find that one thing to keep me here.