Back in Belgrade (again)! – lilac university

We are now officially in the second half of the semester, and I definitely feel it. The mental and physical effects are definitely exhausting, and the feeling of sluggishness in the middle of the semester is real. But we are shifting gears shortly in my internship part of the semester which I am really looking forward to!

Sunday October 23 and Monday October 24

Sunday officially marked mid-semester! I slept until 4 p.m. — I was this tired — before finally getting up and doing nothing all day. It was what I needed after such a long week of travelling.

On Monday I got up, worked on a presentation of our trip to Bosnia for Tuesday class and planned my week. I did some homework and studied for my Serbian final.

tuesday october 25

On Tuesday we had our last lesson on peace and conflict, where we presented our thoughts on Bosnia. After class, we had our last group therapy session before going out to do some shopping. I posted a few letters and bought flowers before returning home. I had lunch and then studied for our Serbian final on Monday. Then I had my weekly call with June!

Wednesday October 26

On Wednesday we had a Serbian lesson and a long course in research methods to prepare for our independent study. I’ll do an internship, with Austin and Izzy, and Lauren and Emily will do a research project. After our RME course, Izzy, Austin and I stayed longer to find out about our internships for the next month.

I will be doing an internship with the A11 Initiative for Economic and Social Rights starting November 9th, and I’m so excited about it! A11 Initiative is a legal and social advocacy organization based in Belgrade, and I am delighted to be able to learn more about the law in the context of human rights here in Serbia. She was my first choice for an organization, and I’m so happy to have been placed with her!

Then I came home and studied a little Serbian before having a FaceTime date with possible future roommates in Los Angeles! Fingers crossed they like me – they both seemed really cool and the house is super cute.

Not really any new pics this week, so enjoy Hana’s (she definitely reflects my mood in this pic)

Thursday, October 27

Thursday was a glorious day, as we had no class! I was able to sleep, then I really doubled my studies for my Serbian final. I made a lot of progress, which put me in a good position for my test on Monday, and I felt very accomplished! Then I worked on my final proposal for Find Methods – the first step in our final for this class – before FaceTiming with Veronica. It was so much fun catching up and chatting! I miss my friends.

friday october 28

On Friday we had our last Serbian lesson, which was going to a literary society in Belgrade. We were able to speak with two prominent authors from the region — Vladimir Arsenijević and Lana Bastašić. We sipped coffee and petted the dog in the cafe, and it was very interesting to hear the authors talk about their process and who they are. It made me want to write a book! Or at least a short story or two.

After we met, I felt drained, so I went home and took a excellent two hour nap before getting up and working some more. In addition to my classes here, I also researched and prepared for my graduation project next year, so I did some extra reading. Fortunately, they all deal with a subject that interests me, but it is a tonne material to cross.

Friday night, I had my weekly (rather daily) FaceTime with Jono before getting ready for bed.

This week was definitely a little stressful, as I had so many things to do and every day unexpected things came up that took longer than expected. However, I leaned into it and started prioritizing taking care of myself – whether I needed a nap, watching a movie, or making a workout video on YouTube. What’s good is that I’m getting a lot better at listening and respecting my body and mind when it asks for what it needs.

It was quite a monotonous week compared to some of our other travel weekends, but I enjoyed the ability to lay in my bed at the apartment and lay still. I know this coming week will have a lot of adventure!

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