Wednesday, July 2, 2014

One More Time Now

    Okay, so it's getting to a point in my life where Bosnia is literally so last year, but so help me, I will talk about this country until I die. So here we go.

    Number one piece of business: It's been a year since my return! Plus a few weeks. My mother told me that I need to let it go (cue Frozen playing in the background) and that I came home a year ago and it's time to just look forward to the rest of my college experience and career and marriage. However, I like remembering the days where life was a little simpler and I didn't have to worry about coughing up $2000 by August for my college downpayment when I don't have a job. Hopefully that will change in the upcoming weeks (or days or, you know, hour. That'd be cool.) and when it does I will gear my attention towards that.

    But as of right now, I'm allowed to reflect on my year abroad because... 

    I was at the YES Abroad PDO once again this past week! This year, working as the group leader for the third generation of Bosnia-Herzegovina students. I felt like some kooky grandma when all these high schoolers are asking me about my experience and I get the privilege to say, "When I was in Bosnia, I walked to school and drank coffee all the time!" This year there are seven students heading off to BiH and two of them are going to be hosted in a city other than Sarajevo, which is crazy considering my year (aka the first year Bosnia was offered), there were only us five SHAKE girls and we were the second smallest group out of the bunch. With seven, we become the largest tied with the kids going to Turkey.

Bosnia-Herzegovina YES Abroad students 2014-2015.

    I did my best to answer any and all of their questions and I found myself remembering details I had merely forgotten because they weren't outright facts. Things like how they carried Kleenex with them at all times and how some men wore murses and how making friends was an easy task due to how friendly everyone is. Okay, so that last bit wasn't something I'd forgotten. To this day I am grateful for all the friendships I've made in Bosnia. Reliving experiences was fun, but it took its toll. When I returned to my room, I went back looking at pictures and contacting my host family and friends, wanting to return immediately and found host-homesickness seeping back into my soul. At least I found a Bosnian restaurant back in Portland that I can go to so I can indulge in ćevapi once again.

    Not only was it fabulous to share experiences and wisdom with the upcoming class of exchange students, but it was just as great to talk about exchange life with other alumni! At the PDO were three other girls from my year, including Sara from SHOCK! Yes, I was very excited. The other girls went to Oman, Turkey, and Sara went to Indonesia. We spent plenty of time talking about return life and host-country life and shared and compared. It's always comforting to talk with other people who went through similar things as you. Maybe not identical, but definitely certain experiences were relatable.

    Anyway, I hope to participate in more YES Abroad events and will pester Skye and Julia and Tara and Elise (sorry guys) until they allow it and hope this is one of many in months/years to come.

    Until further alumni shenanigans,
- Katie

Hangin' with my main man.

Check out that heavenly glory over the Lincoln Memorial.

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