On Sunday, I am moving to Belgrade, Serbia for the rest of the year. I have accepted a position as the rather atavistically named Chief of Party of the United States Agency for International Development's Separation of Powers Project.
I was surprised to learn that the U.S. government is funding democracy and governance projects n Serbia, and no doubt there are many surprises ahead as I return to the Balkans fifteen years after my first such trip, to Macedonia. I suspect that much about Belgrade will seem vaguely familiar (green markets and red peppers, sweet coffee and strong brandy) but that even more will be strange and new.
I am going to try to shift the focus of my blogging to life abroad, and I hope to have the necessary sticktoitveness to do so acceptably. I certainly have lost momentum over the past few months; I'm not sure why. I have been busy with a couple of other projects, but the experience of blogging has not turned out to be as positively as I had hoped. It has been fun, though, nonetheless, and I'm grateful to G Lo, Bobby Digital, Pat, Joy, Worldwide and my dad for their comments. G Lo, especially, who has been far and away my most avid and complimentary reader.
When I started, I expected that the Gs would be more of a focus, but they are far more independent than previously, and their lives are now full of the closed bedroom doors and independent outings that do not suggest amusing or insightful blog entries so readily. Still, I'm proud of how they are turning out, and I don't want to suggest that I would want it any other way (except, perhaps at the dinner table); plus, you embarrass a teenage girl very easily, and at your peril, which makes for added complications as a blogger.
I'll keep writing from this site, even though Blograde and Acerbia seem to be available. Drop me a note if you have any questions or see anything interesting. It means a lot. Even if you can't figure out how to work the comments (I'm looking at you, mom), send me an email and I'll work it into the site.
The first thing I'll share is that the giant plastic tub I bought today is fairly comfortably within the 115 "linear inches" allowed by the Excess Baggage Policy of United Airlines. Since I'm not paying for the excess baggage, I did not actually check the policy until I got home (to see if there was a limit on the number of excess pieces I could check), and a frantic fumble with the measuring tape soon assured me that there was nothing to fear.
I'll be home for Christmas, as many have said before, and we'll see where we go from there. Sounds like a plan. Thanks for reading.