Beginning of the internship – lilas academia

After this absolutely wonderful and crazy weekend, it was back to Belgrade for the rest of the program. I’ve considered traveling another weekend, but honestly, I feel a bit travelled, and want to spend what time I have left here in the city I’ve called home for over two months now.

tuesday november 8

On Tuesday, I woke up and went to meet my internship tutor, Nadja Markovic, from the A11 Initiative for Economic and Social Rights. She is so wonderful, and when I met her, I started to get really excited about my internship here! After meeting her, I went to SIT for a final meeting with everyone to get the last things in order before we all started our internship/freelance research month on November 9th.

I was still recovering from that crazy busy weekend, so after we were all done, I went to lunch with the group before heading home. Izzy had friends visiting – they were from the US and met in Venice – so we all went to lunch together. I had some delicious taquitos that hit the spot. After lunch, I didn’t do much else that day – just relaxed and went to bed early.

Wednesday, November 9

Wednesday was the official start of our internship month! But first we all had to go to the Department of Foreigners to get our visas. So I officially have my Serbian visa.

After getting the visa, I went back by bus to my internship and worked on cataloging some civil society organizations. I will be working 12-5 every day, so very similar to the law internship I had this summer.

After work, I went home, hung out, FaceTimed the family, and went to bed.

Thursday November 10

My updates are suddenly going to be a lot more boring than last weekend. On Thursday, I returned to my internship — I felt really tired and exhausted, because I hadn’t had a day off since returning from my trip on Monday evening. Luckily it was a three day weekend so I knew I had an extra day to rest and recuperate!

After work, Izzy’s friends were still in town, so we decided to go out with them. We went to the Freestyler, which is this club on the Sava River. It was a good time, but I decided to leave before everyone else because I just didn’t feel it. It was nice to hang out with Izzy’s friends some more!

friday november 11

You will be amazed at how much I slept on Friday. I went to bed around 2:30 a.m. and woke up at 2:30 p.m. I thought about getting out of bed, but decided I didn’t want to, so I fell back asleep and didn’t wake up until 5:30 p.m.! It was already dark when I finally emerged from my room, so I felt completely nocturnal. I literally just watched TV, ate, then went back to bed – I was clearly very exhausted from all my adventures.

Saturday November 12

On Saturday I woke up and cleaned my room, finished unpacking and settled back into life in Belgrade. I met Izzy for lunch to catch up, then we went to a vintage store and briefly met Emily before heading home for dinner. The girls wanted to go out to a bar, and I didn’t feel that great, but I decided to do it anyway. And I’m so glad I did because…

Izzy, Emily and I at the vintage store (we had to try these fun glasses)

As I was walking to join my friends, I suddenly heard English in my headphones. And not just any English, an American-sounding English. So I just pulled out my headphones and said hello to these random strangers on the street, who were from Canada, UK, Scotland, France and Germany. They were all very friendly (as people in hostels often are), so I offered them to come with me and meet my friends.

We all ended up chatting in a bar before Lauren pulled some strings to get us into Freestyler. I would say that two Freestyler parties in one weekend is a lotbut we ended up having fun with our new friends, dancing the night away!

sunday november 13

On Sunday I woke up feeling surprisingly full of energy and met Izzy around 2pm to hang out and catch up. We went to a restaurant on the Danube called Lemon Chili, which was super cute! The waiters were very nice (people are usually interested when they hear us speaking English to know where we are from and what we do in Serbia) and we hung out there for a few hours.

At Lemon Chili with Izzy ❤

After that, I went home and started getting ready for the week. It was so nice to have this long weekend, and hard to believe I’m less than five weeks away from getting home now!

I don’t think it really struck me that we’re all in the home stretch of this crazy adventure that started over two months ago. I feel like I’ve been here still, and also as if it had passed so quickly. Somehow I feel like I’m never going back to California – it feels so alien now to think about driving my car through LA, going to Snoopy’s Home Ice for Christmas ice skating, making holiday cookies (the Yule Log will probably also be making a comeback since last year 😋). But the thought of these traditions is also so heartwarming, and I can’t wait to relax at home again before returning to Los Angeles. I’m so excited to see you all, to see my friends and to start a new year, and I feel like being here has prepared me even more for the new chapter of 2023, which is going to be quite a time. monumental. Time passes so quickly !

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