Friday Gratitude

“May I be amazing at you?” — Tina Fey, Bossypants

It’s been a strange week, mixed with highs and lows. The lows mostly have to do with electricity. And it not working. Because Kosovo. (I’d say, “Where’s Thomas Edison when you need him?” but I have always been a Tesla fan. :))

Shortly after waking up Sunday morning to no power (which continued for 7 hours), a friend from Southern California texted me. SoCal is going through a massive heat wave right now and the vegetation is dead. My friend was all, “Kosovo is so beautiful!” And I was like, “I HATE EVERYTHING.”

But enough of the lows. Here are some of the highlights of my week:

    • I began Saturday morning by talking to my best friend. It’s been a while since we’ve caught up. Every time I speak to her, I feel a love so strong it is palpable.
    • Another volunteer and I found an Albanian language tutor!
    • I was walking home from tutoring midday Sunday, and was spontaneously invited to a neighbor’s for coffee. They are a lovely family (somehow distantly related to my host family … I am unsure of the connection). Each member can speak a little English, and I can speak a little Albanian, so between everyone present we were able to patch together a conversation.
    • My host family has relatives visiting from Switzerland. I’ve met several people this week who can speak three languages: Shqip, English, and German. One of those people was a 5-year-old girl.
      Little girl’s mom: “This is April. You can speak English to her.”
      Little girl (in English): “I don’t want to.”
    • My host mother bought me a pair of slippers. They are stiff and too big, causing me to cling to the bannister to avoid injury whenever I walk down the stairs. But it was a sweet gesture and I appreciate it. 🙂
    • One of my classes is particularly noisy/disruptive. After talking it over with my counterpart, we gave them assigned seating. And they were actually quiet for two whole class periods!

As far as media consumption goes, I finished two books: Hillybilly Elegy and Bossypants. I was previously, weirdly, unfamiliar with Tina Fey’s work. I’m not a regular SNL watcher, and I’ve never seen 30 Rock. Not that you have to choose between the two, but I’ve always thought of myself as solidly an Amy Poehler fan (I love Parks & Rec!). But, shocker, I discovered after reading her book that Tina Fey is really funny.

P.S. Hillybilly Elegy was a great read, too … part autobiography, part sociological examination of poor whites in America. And inspirational.

Aaaaand … I downloaded Tana French’s new novel! And I started burning through it. If you haven’t read anything of Tana French’s, let me do you the favor of informing you. I’d say her writing is reminiscent of Gone Girl, but everything gets compared to Gone Girl these days. Let’s just say Tana French is a great mystery writer, and as my grandfather pointed out, sometimes you forget to pay attention to the mystery because the writing is so good. (Or maybe my mom said that. One or both of them did.)

Have a good weekend, everyone! Come back here on Monday. 🙂

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