Friday, December 23, 2011

First Week of December

To show you how far behind I am in posting, I give you dates!

December 3rd: When I went to leave in the morning, my lovely $80 purse broke. You remember, the one that is supposed to be pickpocket proof? Yea seriously disappointed. But this meant I had to go buy another purse before we went to Ohrid, because I only brought over one purse! Erin had recommended this little shop in the Old Town, so after the IWA Christmas Bazaar, I headed over there. I walked into the store and basically only saw black and white purses. I’m a color girl- I really don’t do just black and white. I’m just not good with looking that depressed. So, I pulled one down that was more white than black, and as I was doing so noticed one with bright (really really small) dots of color and started looking at that one, figuring I would get that over just black and white.  When the guy held up his finger (as in one minute please) went to the window display and pulled out a beautiful blue and white stripped purse! I smiled really big and said “Good, yes!” I don’t remember exactly how much it was, but it was under $10. You might have seen it appear in my Ohrid pictures.

December 5th: I was supposed to meet with my official affiliation partner today, but they did not show up and it was the final straw. I now claim I am “freelance.” I will just focus on my research and blog and not work with any official institution of education. I will continue to work with Florozon one day a week, because they are AWESOME!!!

 December 6th: I attended a presentation at the American Corner on “The US Military, Media, and Public Inforamtion: On the Job.” This is how the American Corner summarized it:

American Corner Skopje had the honor to host Lieutenant Jennifer Franco and members of the U.S. European Command's Public Affairs staff on December 6.

LTC Franco talked about her experience working with the media and implementing public information practices in Afghanistan and other operations. She shared with the audience information about media trainings conducted as well her experiences in working both with the American and local journalists.

LTC Franco pointed that during the current election cycle, the biggest question of the U.S. public is “What are we still doing in Afghanistan” which is why it is important to account to the U.S. taxpayer about every single dollar spent there. A good practice for this has been inviting the US media to learn about Afghanistan, in order to provide broader concept and see the changes for themselves. On the other hand, working with the local journalist there are different challenges to be faced. However, the established “Media Center” does provide the journalist with internet access and needed resources.

Present in the audience were also Rebecca M. Wriggle, Deputy Director of Strategic Communication for the United States European Command, John V. Tomassi, Deputy Director for U.S. European Command Public Affairs and Benjamin A. Benson, Strategic Communication Advisor at U.S. European Command’s Strategic Communication Directorate (ECSC). They answered the audiences questions about advice for the Macedonian mission in Afghanistan which does not have a Public Affairs team, EUCOM’s Social Media strategy as well as general questions about the European Command’s operations.

December 7th: Surprise (well two day notice) presentation to children (turns out to be 8th grade) at the American Corner on Big Cities in the US. They were super cool and wanted to just learn about the US. I was glad I was able to shuffle my schedule and meet with them.

December 8th: Stay tuned for a separate post! J

December 9th: I returned from Tetovo in the morning, and attended the National Assembly with Florozon to see a presentation on Waste Batteries in Macedonia. It was really interesting and I was glad I was able to attend!

 The guy with the purple tie is the Chairman of the Committee on Transport, Communications and Environment

Kiril (NGO Florozon) supporting the campaign.
Then I rushed off to attend a workshop on the “Impact of Volunteering on Community Development” hosted by an NGO I was to interview the following week. It was really interesting and informative. More info will later be found on my research blog (much later unfortunately…I stink at updating stuff.)

Later that night, Lizzie, Justin, Jen, and Mary (Kosovo Fulbright English Teacher) arrived and we attended Daniel’s club at the American Corner; stay tuned for a separate post.

December 10th: Once again, stay tuned. Don’t ya love how I don’t even give you any hints?
ok fine-- ONE hint!

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