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[teacherartexchange] Update from Melissa in Serbia

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From: Melissa Enderle (melissa_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Nov 26 2006 - 10:58:20 PST


Dear all,

Thought I'd give you a quick update on what's been happening here in
Belgrade. The weather here has been beautiful - 60's. I went out for
a walk the last few days (we had off for Thursday and Friday in
recognition of Thanksgiving) without a jacket. Lots of other people
were out enjoying the sunny weather as well. Thankfully things have
been calm here. A decision will likely be made in January regarding
the status of Kosovo, with Serbia obviously intent on keeping Kosovo
as a part of Serbia. The UN strongly pushing for independence. More
businesses are moving in and the country's financial situation is
getting better. A recent report by EU officials were positive in the
country's gains - with the main exception of handing in war criminals.

Our school continues to grow in number of students - now we need
space! For next year, we will have to build some portables - not
something the school would prefer to spend money on, but know it's
necessary until a purpose-built school site can be found the
constructed. Dealing with ownership rights post-communism continues
to be a challenging item. Our school order has not yet arrived from
the US, causing some to be without needed textbooks and other
supplies. I am anxiously awaiting new technology equipment including
SmartBoards. Last month we had a pre-authorization from the IBO
organization for the Primary Years Program and they were very
pleased, in fact saying that if this was the authorization visit,
they would have recommended us - great news! We also are in the
process of looking for a new director, as our present one is retiring
at the end of the school year. It's proven to be a challenge so far,
partly because of the number of other international schools looking
for directors and also (I believe) due to a negative perception of
Serbia.

Serbia is entering the season of Slavas - celebrating the family
patron saint. It's on the level of importance as Christmas. It's a
strong religious and family tradition stemming back hundreds of years
ago and managed to survive the Turkish occupation and Communism. Pat
Andjelkovic, a retired teacher from ISB, wrote an article explaining
what a Slava is and how it came to be. Very interesting. You can find
it on my blog. http://melissaenderle.blogspot.com/

That's all for now.

Melissa

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