I am determined to fully immerse myself into life here.
So this morning, I went to church. The service was entirely in Shqip (Albanian). I confess that the parts where they read from the Bible (in standard Shqip, or Tosk) were easier to understand than the parts in the Kosovar dialect (gheg). But I persevered.
After church, I spotted a friend of one of my teachers. I was able to pick him out from his Facebook picture because he had sent me a message there. We went at had coffee at a place right by the Newborn monument.
The monument is a well-known sculpture in downtown Pristina in front of the Palace of Youth and Sports. It was designed by Fisnik Ismaili and unveiled on 17 February 2008, the day that Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. It was painted bright yellow when it was first revealed and was later re-painted with the flags of the states that have recognized Kosovo. It is repainted every 17 February every year, and I look forward to seeing it then. In the meantime, it seems to be a sort of national canvas while still being recognized as a single word understood by non-English speakers as describing the birth of a new country.