Hi friends. I thought it would be a good idea to let you all know what I have been up to. That way maybe you can visualize what I am doing here in Macedonia when you are doing your American thing. You are driving to work, while at the same time, I am walking home from class through my village in the mud. Oh, but it’s the same world and we aren’t so far apart, are we. And if this were a Disney movie this is the exact moment where Fivel Mousekewitz would begin singing…aw.
1) Host Dad wakes me up by saying “Stand up Pehe” because I simply cannot figure out how to work the travel alarm. The verb “stand up” is literally translated from the Macedonian verb stanyvam, which is what they say instead of “wake up.” A funny that I learned in week two of verb conjugations. Also Pehe is my nickname (see previous blog).
2) I eat eggs n oil for breakfast. Host Dad makes Turkish coffee, which is like cowboy coffee. I drink it with great care as not to get coffee grounds in the teeth.
3) Run run run to school. Arrive late anyway.
4) FOUR F-ING HOURS OF LANGUAGE CLASS. I have located the exact area of the brain where language comprehension occurs. It is in the frontal lobe, to the right and equidistance between the eyebrow and the hairline. I know this is the correct location because this is where my brain hurts.
5) Monday, Thursday and Friday I go home and try to run or walk or do something to work off the oil that was on my eggs, or the oil that will be on my lunch. Tuesday and Wednesday, I go to my community development practicum site with the Organization Na Zheni (Womens Org) in Sveti Nikole. This sounds exciting, but because I don’t speak much Macedonian and because they are busy, it generally entails me sitting off to the side drinking Turkish coffee and generally trying to appreciate the work they are doing. I try to nod enthusiastically in ten minute intervals to keep up the positive mojo. Also, I have helped them write some pen pal letters in English.
6) Go home; eat giant lunch. Lunch is the big meal here people, and it’s grrreat! The usual components are bread (but I am warning you: do not to dip it into the soup), ayvar (roasted pepper spread), cirenje (feta cheese), chicken soup (not of the Campbells sort), assorted salads (the veggies kick ass), and a main dish (meat n potato).
7) More Turkish coffee!
8) Back to school for a meeting of some sort. Believe me, Peace Corps is not in danger of running out of ideas for meetings. Today we had one about the cross cultural differences in medical care. Really, Peace Corps, I know it’s not America- I could have been shampooing the neighbors’ cat with that time.
9) Home to study. Psyche! I don’t study. I’m tired. I check my e-mail and look at all the hilarious comments on my blog (aww). Ok, sometimes I study. But I try not to learn anything.
10) Hang out with the host fam. Sometimes I play backgammon with Toshi, sometimes I take a walk with Biliana. Last night we all made apple pie. You just never know what those crazy kids will want to do.
11) Go to sleep under thirty blankets.
Well, there you have it, that’s my Macedonian life. I feel pretty busy here, and not necessarily because of all the standard Trainee activities. I think it’s kind of because even the simplest activities are challenging, like trying to buy shampoo or trying to understand why I can’t put my bread into my soup. It’s not a complaint, just and observation and the modus operandi of my life.
Anyways, I miss you all and I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving. I am actually going to a Peace Corps Thanksgiving of about two hundred people tonight so that should be fun. I will take lots of pics for my next entry.