Guest Blogger: Hannah Polipnick (Dumb Things I Have Done in Kosovo)

hannah
Hannah

Hey friends, family, and readers of April’s blog! My name’s Hannah and this week I’ll be taking over for our dear and beloved April. April and I were roommates during our first few days in Kosovo, and let me tell you she’s an absolute saint. I’m so grateful that we were paired together and that we have been able to develop a wonderful friendship. Anyway, I thought I’d keep things light for my blog post and talk about two MAJOR dumdum moves I’ve made since coming to Kosovo.

The first incident that stuck with me all through summer and something my PST host-familly will never let me forget occurred one sweaty sweltering afternoon. I walked up the hill to my house after a long day of training, and I was profusely sweating. My family took one look at me and said “Oj Han shumë zheg sod, kokë kall!” However, I failed to hear kokë kall (pronounced koh-kah kall) and instead I heard koka-kol. I was so excited, having thought that my family was saying, “Oh Han, it’s so hot outside and you’re gross and sweaty, how about a nice glass of coke.” I said I would love some coke thank you very much, to which everyone burst out laughing. Turns out, kokë kall means your head is literally on fire. Thank you host family, I’m aware my face gets red when it’s hot out. The rest of the summer every aunt, uncle, cousin, and neighbor I had asked me if I wanted a coke when it was particularly hot outside…

Another incident occurred during Bajram or what is called Eid in other communities. I went to the mosque with my host sister and cousin and met up with a fellow volunteer and her host cousin. I had asked my host sister to tell me how to congratulate my Muslim family members, neighbors, and friends on finishing their fasting. She told me you could say “urime Bajram” or “perhajr Bajrami”. As prayers were winding down I began reciting my congratulatory remarks in my head. I turned to my cousin, flashed her my biggest smile and said “perime Bajram”, which translates to “vegetables Bajram” in English. My family now says perime instead of congratulations for every occasion.

One thing I learned quickly from living in Kosovo is that I could choose to be embarrassed by mistakes, or I could join in in laughing. I promise, laughing at yourself is always the better solution.
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April’s note: You can read posts from other guest bloggers here:

One thought on “Guest Blogger: Hannah Polipnick (Dumb Things I Have Done in Kosovo)”

  1. What great stories! Thanks for sharing. And good luck continuing to learn the language! The Kosovos are obviously good-natured and like to laugh and tease. I like that!

    Liked by 1 person

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