After enjoying that great Thanksgiving Feast we were up bright and early to catch the bus for our Swearing-In in Skopje. Before we left my host family surprised me by giving me a dress shirt to wear. It matched up perfectly and they were happy to see me in it. Swearing-In was a large event that our host families, PST staff, current volunteers, national press and the Macedonian president were all present at.
Our country director, Kathleen Corey, US Ambassador Paul Wohlers and the Macedonian president Gjorge Ivanov all gave nice speeches. However one of the cooler things was that two of our own gave speeches in Albanian and Macedonian. I give huge props to Bonnie Smith and Andrew Bagnato for giving them quite articulately.
|Everyone milled around catching up.|
|It was a well attended event.|
|Bonnie giving the Albanian speech.|
|Andrew giving the Macedonian speech.|
|Everyone together, dignitaries included.|
|The Sveti Nikola training group.|
|My LCF, Tome.|
|The other Sveti Nikola LCF, Volkan, rocking the bow tie.|
|Our country director, Corey, between Susan and I.|
|My host family, Igor, Blage and Chezana.|
|Our PST training manager, aka "Mother Hen", Evelina.|
Now, as I was sitting there I was thinking about the speeches's content but also appreciating the moment itself. I'd spent so many nights after a long and wearisome shift wondering if my Peace Corps goal was going to become a reality. I'd think, "Am I wasting my time, my potential? Azerbaijan had bottomed out at the last moment would Macedonia do the same?" Sitting there in that ceremony I realized that I hadn't wasted my time, I'd just learned how to be patient. With that I'd learned how to stay focused on a goal and not trip along the route to it. Nothing is earned without preparation, dedication and consistency.