2006.09.18: September 18, 2006: Headlines: COS - Macedonia: Star-Courier: Anna Berlinski to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Macedonia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Macedonia: Peace Corps Macedonia: The Peace Corps in Macedonia: 2006.09.18: September 18, 2006: Headlines: COS - Macedonia: Star-Courier: Anna Berlinski to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Macedonia

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Anna Berlinski to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Macedonia

Anna Berlinski to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Macedonia

Berlinski took six years of Spanish in high school and college, but the primary languages in Macedonia are Macedonian and Albanian. But she should be able to get along, since in Macedonia she’ll either live with a family with someone who speaks English, or live in apartment with a “foster family” to keep tabs on her. What was once Yugoslavia is now Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and other smaller “Balkan” countries. Macedonia didn’t escape the unrest associated with the Bosnian civil war in the 1990s; in 2001, the Peace Corps pulled its volunteers out of Macedonia for their own safety, Berlinski said. But things calmed down and the volunteers went back a few months later, she said. Berlinski will be among 25 or 30 volunteers who will be the 11th group sent to Macedonia.

Anna Berlinski to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Macedonia

Wethersfield grad to serve in Madeconia in Peace Corps

By MIKE BERRY Of The Star Courier

Published: Monday, September 18, 2006 10:52 AM CDT

Just 15 years ago Macedonia emerged from behind the Iron Curtain, and officials there are anxious to bring the country up to speed with the rest of the Western world.

The Peace Corps is helping by sending volunteers to teach English to Macedonian children.

One of those volunteers is Anna Berlinski of Kewanee, who’ll leave Sept. 22 to begin a two-year commitment with the Peace Corps.
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Berlinski, the daughter of Steve and Jane Berlinski of Kewanee, is a 2002 Wethersfield High School graduate. She received her degree in elementary education from Knox College in Galesburg in June.

Some of her college friends were talking about going with the Peace Corps, and Berlinski got interested in the idea.

“I thought, why not do it now,” she said. “Nothing’s holding me back.”

She applied, went through the interview, the medical and dental exams and the background check and was accepted.

Peace Corps volunteers may choose from a list of services they want to provide in the country where they’re assigned. Berlinski, naturally, picked teaching.

She recently learned that she’ll be assigned to an elementary school somewhere in Macedonia to teach English.

Macedonia, just north of Greece, was part of Yugoslavia, a communist nation that was dissolved in 1991. Berlinski has studied the geography of the country, and said the countryside features mountains, forests and lakes.

“Macedonia is one of the most developed Peace Corps country,” she said. Cell phones, Internet access and other 21st-Century technological luxuries are available there, for example.

“I got really lucky when I was placed there,” Berlinski said.

Berlinski took six years of Spanish in high school and college, but the primary languages in Macedonia are Macedonian and Albanian. But she should be able to get along, since in Macedonia she’ll either live with a family with someone who speaks English, or live in apartment with a “foster family” to keep tabs on her.

What was once Yugoslavia is now Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and other smaller “Balkan” countries. Macedonia didn’t escape the unrest associated with the Bosnian civil war in the 1990s; in 2001, the Peace Corps pulled its volunteers out of Macedonia for their own safety, Berlinski said.

But things calmed down and the volunteers went back a few months later, she said. Berlinski will be among 25 or 30 volunteers who will be the 11th group sent to Macedonia.

She’ll fly first to Philadelphia for a two-day orientation session. She’ll have three months of pre-service training in Macedonia before being assigned to where she’ll be working.

Peace Corps volunteers earn two days off for every month they work. Berlinski said she should be able to accumulate enough vacation time to come home, maybe next Christmas.

And she may be visited in Macedonia by her parents, who are considering making a trip to Europe at some time while she’s there.

Berlinski said when her mother was younger, she’d also have liked to join the Peace Corps, but never did.

Her parents are as excited about her joining the Peace Corps as she is, Berlinski said. “They knew I wasn’t going to be living here (in Kewanee) anyway,” she said. “They’re just happy and excited to know they’ll have a place to visit.”





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Story Source: Star-Courier

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