So we're in Kosovo.
A lot has happened in the six month (!) since I last posted here. The biggest change is, I got a job -- a full-time job on a USAID project -- and it's here in Pristina, Kosovo. We got the news in early May (just after I got back from a month in Kyrgyzstan; yes, I spent four weeks in Kyrgyzstan and never blogged about it, my bad), I moved down here at the beginning of June, and the family followed in August. We're currently living in a house on the edge of Pristina, near Germia Park.
There's a lot I could write about Kosovo. But it kinda feels like I should slowly ease myself back into this blogging thing. I'm not entirely sure why I stopped. Facebook, that's certainly part of it -- a lot of the stuff that might have gone into blog posts goes into FB statuses now. On the other hand, surely there's still room for the occasional long form article about my life and whatever interests me? Still contemplating this.
So let me just talk briefly about the job thing. I'm actually pretty pleased to be in regular employment again. I've spent four of the last five years as a freelancer, and while that's been very interesting in all sorts of ways, it's also been kind of a pain in the ass. Number one, first and foremost, it had me away from my family a lot. Number two, no benefits -- and when you have four kids, health insurance is a think that you think about a lot. Number three, it was unpredictable; the Kyrgystan trip, for instance, had me going off to spend most of April in Central Asia at about two weeks' notice. And number four, while the money was sometimes quite good, at the end of the day working half or even two-thirds time is just not going to lead to putting large sums of money in the bank. On the plus side, I did get large chunks of downtime at home to hang out with the kids, go on long bicycle rides and work in the yard... nonetheless, it wasn't really how we wanted to be living.
So this job. Like all USAID project jobs, it's for a fixed period: in this case three years, from May 2013 to April 2016. It's possible I may get another job before then. It's also possible that come the spring of 2016, I may be back to freelancing again. TBD. Meanwhile, I'm working on a lot of contract stuff (very familiar), commercial law stuff (also very familiar) and enforcement of judgments (new).
The biggest difference between this job and the last two is that I'm not the Chief of Party, the guy in charge of the project. Someone else is COP; I'm a component manager, one step down. That has taken some getting used to. Because of USAID's rather baroque compensation system, I actually get paid exactly the same. And I'm working less; there's all sorts of COP administrative stuff that I don't have to worry about. So there's that. On the other hand, I'm not the boss, and that has taken some getting used to. But four months in, it seems to be going okay.
So. I'll try to start blogging at least sort-of regularly for a while; let's see how that goes. If any of my old readers are still around, welcome back; if you have any questions about Kosovo, or anything else, ask and I'll try to answer.