Home....I'm going home..... well, to Lozovo that is (was).
|The "Little Paris" of Macedonia with its Eiffel Tower shaped radio tower.|
This past week I went back to visit my host family during PST. It had been (I hate to admit this) a year since I had been there. Too long for sure. I promised them I would visit twice before I left, so this was time one. It was a short trip- one day- but it was nice to be back in Lozovo. I spent lots of time hanging out with my brother watching horrible Macedonian TV. Then when my sister came home from school we watched hours of TLC in English! When my parents came home from work, we switched back to Macedonian TV, including Dr. Oz who is a new sensation here. Kinda sad that people here get their medical knowledge from Dr. Oz, but I guess it has to start somewhere. If you hadn't picked up on this, my family really likes watching TV.
By 7pm, I had had enough TV (9 hours of it!), and left to meet up with the Mak-18s in town. They had just found out where they would live for two years and wanted to celebrate. I got to meet five of them, including my biggest blog fan, Chris (here's your shout out), who referred to me as the “JK Rowling of Peace Corps Macedonia”- I will never be at that level, but I shall take that as a compliment. He has read, studied, and memorized every blog post I have ever written, and was able to tell me things about my life I had forgotten. Normally, that would be red flag creeper alert, but I will let it slide since he had three months before coming to do nothing but learn about Macedonia and the life of volunteers here and my blog is one of the only ones that has continued to be updated the entire time (if you look on the side where I list other Mak-16 blogs, you will see may that say: Last updated 6 months ago, or Last updated 1 year ago). One of the first comments someone in the group made was, "Your Minnesotan accent isn't that bad!" I guess my Minnesotan-ness had preceded me, however my accent didn't quite live up to their expectations.
|Chis, myself, and Dan at the "hotel" in Lozovo- it still has yet to build the rooms, but they have improved the restaurant a lot in two years.|
|Hanging out with some Mak-18s in Lozovo- Emily, Ted, Dan, Dan's host father and my host uncle, me, Chris|
|The 18s just found out where they are going to live for two years. This group will be heading to Skopje, Bitola, Ohrid, and Prilep- all very larger cities in Macedonia. I guess Lozovo has prepared them for the village life they wont have.|
|Ted, Emily, and the Sara(h)s|
I then trekked all the way across the country to Andres' house for one last Mak-16 Lozovo get together, however, I happened to make that journey while I was sick and spent most of the day and night miserable waiting for my fever to break, which it thankfully did. From Vratnica, we headed to Skopje for one final all PCV get together called Field Day. Not sure why it has such a name, but its basically the new group's (Mak-18) coming out party and the outgoing group's (Mak-16) goodbye party. I got to meet the Mak-18s who will be moving into my region (only a few and no one coming up into my area), however they will arrive after I have left, so we won't really see each other. Following this, it a lot of goodbye's to the Mak-16s as the first people leave next Thursday. Two years really has gone by fast.
|Mak-16s at Field Day- there were more of us, but they refused to be in Julie's picture.|
|Michelle, Julie, Shannon, and Me|
|As always, Julie yelled, "hands up"|
|My female other half here, Lori. Definitely going to miss this girl.|
|Mak 15s, 16s, 17s, and 18s in Skopje posing on one of the newest bridges.|
|Andres decided to dance into the photo.|
The countdown is in full swing:
31 days until I COS
35 days until I leave Macedonia
51 days until I arrive in America
52 days until I am back in Minnesota