Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vevchani 2012

Twas the weekend of Old New Year and all through the country, PCVs headed to Vevchani to see all the fun-try. 

Some wore masks, the others noses, we took many pictures with hundreds of poses. 
Anna and Lync
Amy, Lync, Misi, Jorgi, Claire, and Andres
Thousands were there to see such a sight, the US Ambassador even came in for the night.

The parade began with quite a big bang, there would be plenty of time to see the whole gang.
Cody and Stephen
Cameras came out and snapped a few shots, we managed to capture quite a lot. 
Austin was brave enough to let Slave up onto his shoulders.
The costumes were wild and some a little crude, one might even say some were a bit lewd. 
Cody made a new friend

We saw cacti and walruses, Hitler and Honest Abe, there were men dressed as women and one special babe.

Dead animals were flung along with some poop, despite the chaos the PCVs stayed a group.

Obama appeared and let out a yell, to Phebe he called, “my wife Michelle”! 

Thomas Jefferson strolled around and apples waddled by, there were warriors and fake blood and I can’t forget the eye. 

The parade may have ended, but the night was still young, there was oro to dance and songs to be sung.

Julie was lost, but only for a bit, she had wandered off to find somewhere to sit.

We danced and we laughed, we had Chris's game to play, the night ended with cupcakes and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 
Claire, Andres, Shannon, and Anna
Cupcakes for Claire's Birthday
Kapa and Klep
We awoke in the morning to much snow and ice, another day  in Vevchani sure would be nice. 
While wandering the village a snowball fight was had, against the local children the PCVs beat them bad.

Our fingers and toes were growing cold, but along came a table and sat down in the road. 

A topla rakija to drink then off we go, we follow the locals to where we don’t know.

The trees beckoned to us to follow them quick, we didn’t fall down despite the ground being slick. 
Rob and Morgan
The Trees had to help push a car up the road when it got stuck.

We were invited in by the local residents, we sat down and ate with our former presidents. 

We posed for a picture with a double, of our Country Director let’s hope we don’t get in trouble. 
This man shared some similarities to our Country Director here, so we had to take a picture!
After much food and drink we headed uphill, to the center we went to see the new thrill.
Not sure what these men were dressed up as, but Amy and I got a picture with them.
My new friend
The costumes were burning but the fire was low, people were focused on dancing the Oro. 
Dancing the Oro with our friends, the trees.

Team Lozovo escaped for an afternoon walk, we went up the hill to have a family talk.
Amy, Anders, Sara, Claire
We took family photos and watched children sled, we grew hungry and tired and wanted a bed. 
Claire, Sara, Andres, Amy, Anna, Shannon
As typical, we had to take a few entertaining photos too.

Who wouldn't want to go sledding when they have bright pink hair!

With our stomachs grumbling with hunger that night, we set out to find a food delight.

Everything was closed all around town, my smile quickly turned into a frown.

A nice man emerged from a slava party, he opened his shop to cook us something hearty.

Full and happy we went to the hotel to bed, with visions of Vevchani stuck in our head.

In the morning we woke to hear some news, a tale of a victim now with Vevchani blues. 

There were devils and skulls, burning caskets and trees, but one mighty man was brought to his knees. 

With one wrong step on the ice it was easy to slip, down Lync went, it was more than a rip.

A ride to Skopje, a prognosis made, to America Lync went with Boris to aid.

So ends our tale of Vevchani dear, next year we shall go back with only ice to fear.

Friday, January 20, 2012


The cold has set in. Now being a Minnesota girl, I should be used to cold, but as I may have said before, this is a completely different kind of cold. You not only have the cold outside, you have it inside and sometimes the inside cold is worse than the outside cold. You are cold when you wake up, cold when you go to work, cold when you shower, cold when you cook, cold when you go to sleep, you’re just cold 24/7. I have become very familiar with the site of seeing my breath inside my house on a regular basis. Earlier this week I stayed at another volunteer’s house and everyone kept asking why I would dare stay at Jason’s because its so cold (his place is too open so he doesn’t even attempt to heat it because his heater would do nothing- I hopped around his house in my sleeping bag). While there, I was definitely cold and told him I think his place beat mine out for coldness. However, I got home, after being gone for almost a week, and changed my statement. I came home to frozen pipes in my entire house and my toilet bowl being filled with solid ice, despite my landlady having come and built a fire at least once. I called my landlady to fix the situation because I was going to have to get creative about my bathroom needs if the problem wasn’t solved. She came with a few friends and in an hour they had it unfrozen. The process involved jamming a stick around in the toilet,  boiling water and dumping it in the toilet, placing a heater on a plastic basket with the extension cord running through a pool of water on the floor and telling me to leave it on all night, and then telling me to leave the water running in my place all night, flush the toilet every half hour or so, and keep switching the pots of hot water from under my kitchen sink (those pipes were still frozen when they left and the solution was try to heat them with steam from the water below). Yet another interesting experience in this country. And don’t worry, I didn’t leave that heater running as it was all night, or running at all for that matter. As soon as they left, that situation was resolved because I didn’t feel like the solution to frozen pipes was starting a fire in my house. The pipes have frozen outside of my house a few times since then; I have water, then I suddenly don’t. I believe the question “Am I going to have to pee in my yard facing my neighbours?” has crossed my mind about 6 or 7 times since Tuesday.

The ice sitting at the bottom of my frozen toilet.

Yup, can't use this right now.
I start my fire every morning and it burns all day. Theoretically the room its in should be warm, however when I got to bed in there, I wear about 8 layers on top, two on the bottom, three pairs on socks- 2 pairs SmartWool, my hat, and I curl up in my “warm to 20-degrees” down sleeping bag with a thick blanket doubled up on top and, you guessed it, I am still cold. My landlady told me yesterday the weather will be like this until the end of April probably. You better believe that made me excited. I guess I can’t complain too much since this weekend was the first time I have had snow and ice in my town. The temperature has been hovering around -13 Fahrenheit at night the last few nights. We were supposed to start school back up from the break this Friday (tomorrow), however, due to the cold, the Ministry of Education cancelled school and we will start on Monday, which probably makes more sense because as every teacher knows, not a lot would be accomplished on Friday. Now this isn’t an “Arkansas got a ½ centimeter of snow we need to cancel school” situation- I can see their point in that the schools haven’t really been heated since the end of December and it would take a whole lot of wood to get them even slightly warm just for one day- it doesn’t really make sense.

The cold/snow/ice even took one of our PCVs this past weekend in Vevchani (another post for another time). Vevchani is a village built on a hill. We were all slipping and sliding around because of the ice, and many of us took minor tumbles (the bump on the back of my head is almost gone!). However, while trying to escape the craziness and head back to Prilep, one of the volunteers, Lync, slipped and didn’t end up quite so lucky. He ended up in a taxi headed to the hospital in Skopje where he found out his humorous bone was split completely in two and sometimes he could, “feel them [the two pieces] dancing with each other”. After a few days in the hospital, he was medivaced on a flight with one of the Peace Corps drivers bound for Washington D.C. for surgery and rehab before hopefully coming back to finish out his service. He has 45 days to get better or else he is medically separated, however, knowing Lync, he will be back in no time. If the pictures below don’t give you an idea of what kind of character Lync is, one of the things Lync commented on most was the fact that in the shuffle of the weekend, he lost his toothbrush.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

10 Things I Took for Granted in America

1. Heat
Especially heat in the bathroom. Heat is kind of a basic necessity and while I can heat my house, its a process, just like laundry. Every day making and maintaining my fire is pretty much a secondary job. I have to clean it out from the day before, empty the old ash and coals, find someone to cut me tenki drvo (kindling), go dumpster diving for cardboard boxes, build a fire, keep a close eye on the damper to monitor air flow, haul wood from my outdoor wood pile up the stairs to my house, add logs as the fire gets going, add more logs as it burns, smash the coals down, occasionally add more paper and cardboard and tenki drvo if I didn’t keep a close enough eye on it, haul more wood, and sweep the floor about 50 times. Let’s just say heating in America is no where near this extensive. However, without a fire, I would be a popsicle. There is absolutely no way I could live here without it and even with the fire, really only my kitchen and living room get warm, the other rooms get just above seeing your breath level.

2. Internet 
I was a frequent internet user in America….ok, I practically lived on it and couldn’t imagine not having access to internet. When I arrived in Macedonia, my host family had wireless, so my usage continued. However, I have now been at site for a month and a half and still no internet at home. I have access at school some days, but not always. I have been trying to get internet at home since day one, but well, that pesky ever-so-popular Macedonian phrase of ima vreme (there’s time) just keeps coming up. Surprisingly though, despite not being able to check emails when I want, update my blog as often as I want (that is my excuse for any infrequent updates….), or talk to my parents  (haven’t had a real conversation with them in a month and a half), I haven’t minded not having it as much as I thought I would. In some ways it has been good for me- it means I can’t hide away at home online.

3. Laundry
Laundry is much more of a production here. I have a lovely washing machine in my bathroom, however, I learned when I arrived at site that it is just a piece of decorative furniture. Often my landlady does my laundry for me (which does involve hauling dirty laundry up and down the hill on my 20 minute jaunt to her house which leaves me with lots of interesting stares), however I have also had to hand wash my clothes and its not a very fun process. Even if my washing machine worked, I don’t have a dryer. They don’t exist here. Everyone hangs their clothes out to dry on the line. You might be thinking, “how charming and quant”. Well, its not. Especially when it is freezing cold out so the clothes just freeze, rather than dry. Lucky for me, I discovered I can dry clothes quicker inside if I 1) bake  them in the oven part of my wood burning stove, 2) place them on my radiators connected to my wood burning stove,  or 3) place them in banitsa pans on top of my wood burning stove (only one slight casualty with a Smartwool sock, but its still wearable). All of these, of course, require me to keep my fire going nice and hot. Total hour count for getting half of my laundry clean- 9 hours of pretty constant attention. Let’s just say, I definitely took advantage of being able to have clean clothes in about 2 hours with very little effort.
Baking my underwear in the oven
And on the stove
 4. Shower Curtains
Many homes in Macedonia have them, many don’t. Mine did not... until this past weekend! Before, I had to crouch/sit in my bathtub to shower. The water pressure in my shower isn’t that great, but it is high enough that when I would shower, water would spray everywhere and my entire bathroom would be flooded with water, even with a 5 minute shower. Combine that with not having heat in the bathroom and showering was one of the most miserable experiences I had in regards to my house and daily life. I tried to avoid it and only showered every couple of days. However, now that I have a curtain, my world has been turned upside down. I can stand up and shower (I still have to hold the shower head which is a bit of a pain, but far less). My bathroom still gets wet, but now its like a gentle mist over everything instead of a monsoon. I owe a huge thanks to another volunteer, Paul, who bought the shower curtain for me in Kochani (not an item I can find in my town) and helped me put it up this past weekend. We had to do a little McGyver work and its kind of sketchy, but it stays up and keeps water in. I could care less if it looks like it belongs in a trailer.

As creatively hung as it is (that is rope going between two nails and a piece of wire from the ceiling) I love it!
5. Food Variety
I didn’t think of myself as a picky eater in the US, there were just foods I avoided because I didn’t like them. However, I can’t do that here. The food selection is more limited. The diet is based around lots of vegetables, beans, meat, oil, and sugar. While I like that it isn’t super dairy based, I do miss the variety. However, because of this, I have had to adapt my diet. There are many things that I now enjoy that I didn’t in the US. Coffee- I don’t care if it is instant or Turkish (with the grounds), I drink it and enjoy it. When I was visiting another volunteer a few weeks ago, she had a French press and American Christmas blend coffee. If that was any indication to what coffee is like in America, why did I not drink it sooner! Onions- While I still can’t bring myself to just take a bite out of a whole raw onion like I have seen many Macedonians do, I do enjoy them fried and added into food. Mom, you were right all along, they do add a lot of flavour. Tomatoes- Like onions, I wasn’t a fan. I started to be ok with smaller pieces, but now, you cut a tomato in quarters and I will eat it. Beets- This one is subject to preparation. I have had some bad beets here and some amazing ones. My landlady makes the best beat salad I have ever had. Its simple, shredded beets, oil, water, vinegar, and salt, but it is delicious. Cabbage- There is lettuce here, but cabbage is much more common and a whole lot cheaper. Beans- Ok, I wouldn’t say I enjoy them, however I eat them now. There is a very common dish, manja that is like a bean soup and its kind of a staple here, especially in the winter.

6. St. Peter Food Coop
This kind of goes along with food variety, but more so it is about having access to healthy food and non-dairy alternatives. I question if either of these things exist here! There certainly is lots of healthy food, however, most of it gets prepared with lots of oil, salt, and sugar, which takes away a lot of the healthiness. I consider myself to be doing pretty good when I cook as I have only gone through 1 liter of sunflower oil so far and I did have mnogu na gosti at Christmas. Pretty sure my family in Lozovo went through about 2-3 liters a week of that stuff. As far as non-dairy alternatives, I have seen one box of soy-drink pellets, but I somehow have not been able to bring myself to try those, as appetizing as soy-drink pellets sounds. Forget the non-dairy yogurt, cheese, and ice cream that I had become accustom to.

7. Advanced Plumbing
While I am now used to throwing my toilet paper in the garbage and don’t even usually think about it now, when it comes time to take out the garbage and I have a bag full of soiled toilet paper, I really wish I could just flush it all and be done with it, but not the case. The plumbing in most of Macedonia isn’t advanced enough to be able to handle toilet paper, so into the garbage it goes.

8. Unlimited Texting
Pretty much everyone has unlimited texting in the US. Not here. We pay for every text we send. The phones the volunteers have are pay-as-you-go, so there is a constant adding of credit to them, which requires going to a prodov that sells T-Mobile credit (T-Mobile being the least popular cell service here, so some people don’t have access in their villages). It costs 2.9 denari (6 cents) to send a text and about 10 denari (21 cents) a minute to make a call so it isn’t cheap. However, when its my only form of communication with other volunteers, I have add that credit weekly. Luckily, there is a deal where if you add 150 denari of credit, you get 150 free texts for a week. That sounds like a lot, but it can disappear quickly sometimes. Life would be much easier if texting were just unlimited because I spend a good chunk of my day trying to shorten messages down to the 160 characters allowed in one text.

9. Big Boxes of Kleenex
I have yet to see a normal box of Kleenex. All I have found is the mini packs that make it easy to carry with you, but not very practical at home. I think due to the cold here (yes MN is cold too, but it’s a completely different kind of cold here), my nose is constantly running. It started in October and has been going strong since and the mini packs of Kleenex just don’t do the job like a big box would.

10. Target
There aren’t stores like Target or Walmart here. Maybe in Skopje, but not most cities. You go to the market for food, the hardware store for hardware needs, the small prodov for other things, the apteka for medicine, and the pazar for the cheapest deals on a wide array of things. In the US, I could get pretty much everything I needed under one room. Not the case here- you have to make 3 or 4 different stops to get your errands done.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Среќенa Нова 2012 Година!

Two blog posts in a day- it’s a big day/I feel guilty when I haven’t updated for awhile but I get messages from people saying they enjoy my blog! That is how you get me to write if its been a little while!

I have now been at site for over a month. Christmas Day marked our one month anniversary as PCVs, so we had all the more reason to celebrate. A lot has happened in this past month. I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, something my fellow MAK-16s can easily agree with. I am still trying to figure out my place here both in the community and at school.

This month I have spent shadowing all six English teachers at my school and one of the village schools. Most of the time I have just sat and observed the class, occasionally read a text or two in American English (which the kids prefer and find it easier to pronounce- I can see it now….in two years there will be a whole bunch of little Macedonian children running around with Minnesotan accents!). Now after our big break (we have a break from December 31-January 20 or so due to the many holidays- Нова Година (New Years- December 31/January 1), Божик (Eastern Orthodox Christmas- January 6/7), and Стара Нова Година (Old New Years- January 14) my schedule will change and I will be working with fewer teachers and focusing on the younger grades (right now I have been in 1st-8th). My counterpart is great and really enjoys teaching. She wants to improve her English and teaching and is really curious about how things are done in America. She is a good teacher and uses methods more similar to the American system than the others. I have loved being in the 3rd and 4th grade classes the most and will be spending more time with them. Hopefully after the break I will be able to help more in the classroom and start some secondary projects because right now I am not very useful. However, today I actually got to help with the 4th and 6th graders. I talked to the 4th graders about American Christmas traditions and helped the 6th graders write compositions about their good and bad habits. I also will start helping out at the kindergarten with the English teacher there (even if I go when they aren’t learning English, the Macedonian of 3, 4, and 5-year-olds is much more at my level).

Here in Macedonia, I am an expert on a multitude of topics, simply because I am American. I have been an expert on global warming (which doesn’t really exist in Macedonia of course) to haggis (why yes, every American knows about the traditional Scottish dish) and British laws (again, because we speak the same language, I must know everything about the British government). I was an expert at addressing Ambassadors and ribbon cutting ceremonies (the Swiss Ambassador to Macedonia came to Kamenica on December 23rd to open a brand new playground that they helped fund with the Opstina (government) and a local HBO (NGO) and I was there with my counterpart to help provide English translation (because after studying Macedonian for 3 months I can certainly translate for the Swiss Ambassador- lucky for me his personal assistant was fluent in Macedonian, English, Italian, and German). I was an expert on drawing Christmas trees and the internet (I often am asked to translate error messages for people since they show up in English).

As far as my house, I have made it more my own. I will try to post pictures soon. I have learned how to build fires in my wood burning stove and haul wood 2-3 times a day. When I get a good fire going, it heats up all of the radiators in my house and makes every room warm (even my forbidden room- the room Peace Corps isn’t paying for me to have, but I can really use it anyway if I want). Without a fire, it is dreadfully cold and I can barely stand to be outside of my down sleeping bag. I constantly can see my breath if I don’t have a fire going and my shampoo and conditioner freeze. I still don’t have internet. This has been quite the battle. I was promised internet by Lucia and was looking forward to Skyping with people back home then, didn’t happen. Then by American Christmas, didn’t happen. Now, I was told after the new year (that is the big holiday here, Christmas isn’t a big deal, but New Year’s Eve is huge). It is starting to get a little frustrating since I really haven’t talked to my parents in over a month when they were in California with Anna. But soon, hopefully (although I am not getting my hopes up). I recently have really gotten to see what my water distiller takes out of my water. Previously it was just white crystallized sludge, now it has started to be more of a reddish (I am assuming suddenly the iron content from the mine has increased, but I am still waiting to see what medical has to say about this).

I am debating if my language has gotten better or worse. A lot of people lost language skills when we stopped having 4 hours of Macedonian language a day, however I speak only Macedonian outside of school, so I don’t have a choice to practice. It is no big deal now to walk into a prodov and ask for some item I want to buy. Even if I don’t know the exact Macedonian word, I can usually describe what I am looking for and they understand (Trying to explain shower curtain was an interesting one- кого јас се туширам, многу вода сел бања. Треба голема пластик крпа- When I shower, lots water whole bathroom. Need big plastic towel- complete with gestures- And after all of this, I found out they don’t sell shower curtains in my town). I translate what I want to say when talking to younger kids at school without much difficulty. Once I get internet, I will be able to start my Skype tutoring with Dushko (my LCF from PST) which will help too.

Tomorrow is the last day of school until the new year. I still am not sure what I will be doing for New Year’s Eve. Another volunteer is coming into town and we will na gosti somewhere, either the girls next door, the teachers at school, or my landlady. Tonight I am going to the old cinema to see my student’s New Years performance and tomorrow I was invited to go to the kindergarten to see their holiday performance which I am really excited about as well.

Среќенa Нова 2012 Година!

Christmas in the Rock

Well, American Christmas has come and gone here in Macedonia (we still have Macedonian Christmas to look forward to on January 7th). It was the first Christmas away from home for many of the MAK-16s, but we celebrated together and had a good time. There were several Christmas parties going on around the country, but somehow I think Kamenica ended up having the largest, and certainly the longest (we started Friday and went until Monday) party. There were 11 volunteers in my house at one point, which my house is larger than most here, but still meant we had some interesting sleeping accomodations (especially when you have to take into account the snorers and those who have violent nightmares). Several people traveled over 6 hours by bus to get to Kamenica and their presence was much appreciated.

Some of the highlights:

Going in search of an Божик елка (Christmas Tree). They brought back not one, but four.
Julie decorating the tree.
Kenzie and Morgan enjoying some holiday drinks.
The start of the White Elephant gift exchange. Check out the sweet bag I found with race cars and fast cats. That in itself was a gift!
Paul's White Elephant from Enid: A whisk and a pack of spaghetti sauce mix from America
Julie's White Elephant from Sara: A mushroom jar, a Saint portrait, and a fake metal weapon.
Faron received a Macedonian Children's Concert video from Paul
Enid opened a White Elephant from Morgan that was wet. It was a yellow plastic bottle with knobs and some sort of liquid inside.
Kenzie opening a White Elephant that had "popular" American star posters, a used loofa, and a mystery Macedonian homemade wall hanging
Anna's White Elephant gift went to Dale: A glass cockatoo statue.
The most coveted White Elephant gift, prior and post opening, was Faron's. The recipient was Dan. Apparently Faron has 3 or 4 of these lovely framed pictures in his house and decided to share.
Building Gingerbread Houses
Dale using part of Paul's White Elephant gift
Christmas Stockings from Дедо Мраз (Santa Claus)

Paul and Julie
Christmas Day Dinner- Roast Chickens and Vegetables
Andres bobbing for cookies with the ones that were stuck to the pan.

The boys were in charge of decorating the cookies. This is the cookie they made for me- three layers and about a pound of frosting, sprinkles, and red hots. AKA: A handful of diabetes.
Clearly I am a 2 year old and wore more of the cookie than I ate.
The Kratavo Group: Paul, Dale, Dan, Faron
The Girls: Anna, Julie, Morgan, Enid, Sara
Team Lozovo: Anna, Julie, Kenzie, Morgan, Andres, Sara

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Life in "The Rock"

Well life here in Kamenica keeps ticking along. School days are a little long some days since I am still trying to figure out what my job is/where I am useful. In talking with previous/current volunteers this often takes 3 months to a year, so I guess I have lots of sitting and observing left to do. However, I am going to try a new approach and try to figure out just what the school wanted when they requested me. I have yet to figure out who exactly did- whether it was a specific teacher, the director, or just a general thought that I could be a useful addition for a while. Once I get this figure out hopefully I can figure out more what I should be doing. I have been emailing with an RPCV who lived in Kamenica and he has been a good resource. He was a MAK 7 back in the early 2002/2003, however was only in Kamenica for about 8 months due to the mine flooding/pollution incident everyone here seems to not talk about at all.

I have learned though that in this country, I can’t be passive and unopinionated like I was in US. If I don’t like something, I can’t just go with it/hope it will change. I need to address it right away and be blunt. This is really hard for me to do since it isn’t my way. If I am tired and just want to go home and relax, I need to say I am tired instead of sitting at one more na gosti not enjoying myself/thinking about how I wish I could be home sleeping. I would like to think this will a) get easier over time and b) get easier when I have more stuff going on. I think I need to be blunt and after observing a little more, tell the teachers that I am not a decoration for their classroom. If I am not going to be used by a certain teacher/grade, there is no point in me being there.

Despite not having language class anymore, I can tell my Macedonian is still improving. When I introduce myself to new classes, I do it in English first, then Macedonian and between that and a few other things, I have been doing lots of translating, which is good practice. My task now is translating my chocolate chip cookie recipe into Macedonian for the teachers who have been asking daily for it after I brought in some cookies. As soon as I get internet I will start Skype tutoring with my Macedonian Language Teacher from Lozovo, Dushko, and he sent me a message yesterday in Macedonian and I understood it and responded back in Macedonian, to which he said he was impressed because I was 90% accurate on it all. I still don’t quite know when to use which prepositions and direct and indirect objects are still the bane of my existence, however I am using over half of the long form direct objects on a regular basis now.

Highlights of Today:
·  Built a second fire all on my own! It still takes me a while (longer than a Macedonian) and a lot of paper (I was scolded today for using plain paper, but that’s all I have right now- you don’t just walk into a store and buy old used paper, so I don’t exactly know where to get other stuff this time of year), but I eventually get it.  It is amazing how natural hauling wood several times a day is now and its only been a week and a half.
·  Watched fish being scaled and gutted (Yeah I know I am from MN, but believe it or not I have never been fishing). It was gross as is, but I kinda freaked out a little when they started scaling the fish that were still alive. Please can someone start cutting off my outer layer of skin while I am alive!
·  Met the final English teacher at the school today and she is AMAZING! She teaches the first, second, and fifth graders. She had me working with them from the start, helping the first graders cut shapes to make masks. A huge plus with her too is that she has experience working with the last few volunteers, so she understands much more than most why I am here. I am hoping to work with her a lot.
·  I killed a bug (like a giant box elder bug) with my bare hands and only slightly flinched.
·  I messaged back and forth briefly with my host brother and host sister and Kenzie’s host father in Lozovo and I am very excited to go back and visit in January. While I know Kamenica is my new home, right now Lozovo is still my Macedonian home to me.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Week One in Kamenica- Check √

Just a quick update because I am still at school using their internet since I don't have it at my house yet.

1) Today I will attempt to build a fire on my own. My fingers are crossed that I can do it. My landlady showed me again last night, but we will see how it goes.

2) Here are the links to Lozovo's video from Swearing-In. It is our tribute to the many soap operas of Macedonia.
 The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV9PILQGDTo
And the out takes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKmzn2mn83M

3) I went to one of the village schools today and the English teacher I was working with had to leave early. Thus, I was left with her class of 7th graders all by myself. I wasn't really told about this, she kind of explained it, but told me to just do what this other lady said. Well that lady didn't speak any English, so there I ended up- with a class of my own. It was good practice for me translating from English into Macedonian, however the students either struggled to understand or more than likely, they just didn't want to do anything.