Thanks to everyone who read and commented on my blog. It is nice to know that people would support me and care if I did decide to make a huge life decision. However, yesterday was the April 1st, which I found out is also celebrated in Croatia by playing jokes on people. Many here were thinking of practical jokes and it was my tutor who suggested I write a fake blog post. So Happy April Fools! I am in fact, not moving to Ukraine, but staying here in Croatia.
But I am just fine with that. Even if there was such a job in Ukraine (I did make it sound pretty awesome), I wouldn't take it at this time. It is true that I am not completely satisfied with my work here, but over the past week I have realized that it is okay for this period in my life. I might not have had the best reasons for coming to Croatia, but I feel certain that this is where I should be right now. And I find myself happy here in Osijek. I don't think I could have written that April Fools blog if I wasn't satisfied with where I was.
Because Osijek has become my home. I have a place where I belong. Here at the seminary, I might not enjoy my work, but I love the relationships I have formed here. Joška, a retired accountant who volunteers everyday in the library has been helping me with my Croatian when I come in the mornings. He was also there at the finish line of the half marathon to cheer me on and give me a hug.
Speaking of the half-marathon, Sunday was a great example of how integrated I have become in this place. Three other guys from the seminary ran and it was fun to feel a part of the group. Before and afterwards we all hung out with some who came to support us. We went out to eat afterwards and it felt really nice. But it was not just seminary people I talked to. I also ran part of the way with some people from the running league I have been a part with. They don’t know me very well, but it was good to have other people come to talk to me after the race and ask how it went (all in Croatian!).
The actual race was not so great. It was hotter than training had been and I think I pushed myself too fast too soon and had to walk some at the end. However, I still made the time I predicted for myself: 2 hours, 26 minutes, and 46 seconds. I felt terrible during and these past couple of days have been rough. I am so sore and my toes are very bruised. But I did it. I made my goal and I finished! For my next one (most likely October 12 in Zagreb), I made a promise to train better so I won’t feel as bad.
So I am sorry to all those who might not have appreciated my joke. But know, that I am where I am supposed to be and where I want to be. It has been an interesting journey here in Croatia, and it is not nearly over. :)