February 27, 2011 § 7 Comments
What a perfect day for a swim at the spa. Saturday morning I woke to a dusting of snow, with it still lightly falling. I imagine it will be the last snow of the season. It was a wonderful day shared with friends: swimming, lunch, coffee, conversation, shopping. I picked up some things to keep on with my bread making experimentation; digital scale, whole wheat flower, more bowls, perfect clear container with a lid… and a pasta machine. Okay the pasta machine is not for the bread but I love fresh home made pasta for a great simple meal. Mmmmmmmmm, looking forward to all the fresh local veggies come spring and summer.
In January I posted about a spa hotel in Bansko, Tsar Samuil next to the Roman bath that is being excavated. Well, yesterday we (fellow PCV’s Jim, Dianne and Robert) went for a swim at the hotel. The water is a very soft lukewarm from the natural springs. There is also a smaller hot pool, like a giant jacuzzi without the bubbles. The costliest part was the overpriced taxi ride, it only cost 80MKD to swim.
I will definitely go back! We were the only ones there to swim at 8:30 so I was able to snap a few pictures. This is also used as a spa/therapy facility there is a bit of an “institutional” feel. It was cold and damp with only a random bare lightbulb, water is constantly dripping form various places throughout. There are a lot of hallways and rooms, some empty, locked or used for storage some are in use for therapy purposes.
February 20, 2011 § 2 Comments
I have finally started working with the students in the gifted program. What I am doing is more like and English club; no grading or curriculum. The pedagogue wants me to work with the them to expand their knowledge of English and American culture focusing on their interests. I have been busy with planning and coming up with ideas. There actually a lot of resources on the internet, the challenge is working with a lack of physical resources; paper, working printer, games, books. You know, all the “stuff” we have at school that we use everyday.
My counterpart is interested in expanding the resources for her and the other teachers of English at her school, which includes the satellite village schools, so we are working on a grant.
I made a scrabble game out of an old calendar, the back of the pages were white. I am making letter dice with play dough. I enjoy doing this, here I have the time to be creative and create.
I have also helped a fellow PCV with her adult English classes. I was nervous about working with and teaching adults but it turned out to be very fulfilling and enjoyable. I look forward to starting adult English classes here in my village.
I have been a homebody lately but ventured out for Saint Trufin day for the Blessing and Cutting of the Vines and the “uncorking of the barrels” events in Negotino. I also went to an art opening at the Negotino Museum for the Old Crafts Association where the wood carvers presented their current 3-dimensional works.
Saint Trufin day, 14th of Feb, was such a fun day. Sampling rakia and wines from local wineries, hanging with other PCV’s, enjoying art, soaking in history, watching an important ceremony, watching a variety of traditional dancing from the area, seeing very important people of Macedonia, seeing and being with the locals, being drug off the center square to the home of a family that has hosted a number of PCV’s (trainee’s) in the past, feeling super crappy about my language skills (the lack off), meeting an old Macedonian musical icon with his hair still intact, eating everyday yummies, seeing a record sized pastrmajlija, showing Macedonians my sharp elbows, ripping my own piece of pastrmajlija out of the security guards hands to share with my friends … anything else?
Well here are some pictures
February 9, 2011 § 8 Comments
I wrote this blog entry about a week ago, then many things happened. I like what I wrote — rough as it is. But, instead of trying to clean it up and post it I decided to post it as is, my brain spilling out onto the page. I think that if I attempted to update and or proofread I would really change the flow and what it represented at the time I wrote it.
I sat down to write all the things i have been thinking about. for the last 2 days i have had a clear direction on what i wanted to share. this morning i woke up and have been so distracted. it is one of those grumpy mornings where nothing seems to go right. It could be because i finally put the mattresses up on the bed frame instead of sleeping with them stacked on the floor. It could be because everything in my fridge froze – again. I didnt know about that until my morning had already been underway. — your toe refuses to follow the rest of your foot into your slipper, you are standing on the string to your sweats as you try to pull them on, a giant fly magically appears in the window and tragically throws itself against the window pane with a thump thump thump, wings buzzing like a jet, couldn’t be the beautiful sunrise when both of my alarms when off, my soft Ikea sheets,
it has not been easy
wasting my time?
but I don’t even know what i would do if i went home – the last 2 years were spent planning for this
but for me this was not about changing the world but about changing me
i am who i am
i is who i is
can not expect to be someone different here
same self challenges
relationships i can do, but now cant do because of the language barrier
no waves no push no stress take it as it is
i am here to observe
take back what i know
a slower way of being
present in the moment
i am living in europe (ok eastern europe but it is europe)
the language 😦 me
whats happening at home?
where is my career
time passes on a different level here, hummm is it because my brain is so busy
missing physical connections
sharing day to day, one on one daily stuff
my friends and family have done such a great job at sending me gifts that help make my house feel like a home. i am very comfortable here. i feel very safe.
Today I got many very friendly hello’s from my colleagues. I like that, it felt very good. I have always felt very welcome here, from the very beginning. I know not everyone one has had that experience in their PCV experience. But we each have to take where we are with what has been given us. It is not right to compare my space (when i say space i mean my experience, opportunities, resources, environment, community). As they say “every ones experience is different” and to add to that we walk into our experiences as individuals, with all the variety that alone offers. We bring to our experience ourselves with all our different needs and expectations.
I came here, well where ever I was going to go, with no expectations of what I was going to accomplish at or for my site. I did come with many expectations for myself. Much of my decision to come was based on personal desires (selfish?). So, my frustrations and disappointments i am experiencing focus on the expectations i had for myself.
much of my thinking has been based on focused on staying centered on this and not allowing my frustrations and negativity to spill into what is going on at my site. my role at my site is rolling along just as it should. I realize i have not talked much about my site, that is intentional. in time.
everyday, everyday, everyday, everyday i ask myself why am i here. to be honest this is not what i expected it to be, the challenges are different. the challenges come from questioning the weight of my experience here against moving forward at home. I dont even know what this “moving forward” at home means for me.
school – what direction
reestablishing a home
so, every day, every day, every day, every day i ask myself what is next back in the sates. I have no clue. i ask remind myself it is good here, i am doing good things for others and for me.
some times i cry; confusion, sadness, frustration, uncertainty.
it has become less of an adventure and more of a journey, the newness and excitement has worn off. That this is a journey is good; growth focused. this journey is about me. today and tomorrow.