We’ve officially been here for two weeks! Overall, things are going really well. I was telling JR on Friday that I didn’t expect to be having so much fun. I knew I’d be okay here. Kosovo was our top pick for his first assignment, we’ve had almost a year to prepare, and with technology, keeping in touch with family and friends is so much easier. But I’m happily surprised by how social everyone is here and the good times we’ve already had.
Before we left, JR was in touch with two co-workers from DC, who arrived to Kosovo months before us. They were excellent resources for questions about food, our cat, JR’s work, and everything in between. Two months before our departure date, our social sponsor contacted us. JR’s work assigns each newcomer to post a social sponsor who will pick them up at the airport, inquire about their housing, ask for a shopping list and have groceries waiting at the new place, and take them to dinner on their first night.
Katie volunteered to be ours, and she has been great. It’s awkward making a grocery list for someone else to shop for you, especially when you aren’t sure what’s readily available or the cost of things (we reimbursed her for the purchases). She got most of the things on our list, and after seeing a Facebook post of mine, she picked up Jif peanut butter and Diet Coke for me! She also took us out to dinner at what I’m sure will become our go-to restaurant, Pinocchio, close to where we live.
The first week we were here, we had dinner with some other co-workers (now friends), attended a Marine Happy Hour, and as I already posted, traveled to Albania. This past week, we went to a happy hour for JR’s office, went to a going away party, and a game night. It’s very cool that there are so many people that are around our age, and welcoming us into their circles.
Things are definitely different here, but many things are still the same. At the going away party, the hosts served hot dogs, burgers and chips (I ate like 7 hot dogs, I love those things), strawberry margaritas, and jello shots. Yes, jello shots in Kosovo. We also played flip cup and beer pong (JR ran the table, as expected). We had a lot of laughs with new friends, and said farewell to someone leaving post.
Two weeks in and we are happy and having fun!