Paper Cranes for Japan

April 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

Since I am here in Macedonia, volunteering, I thought it might be nice to share the idea of service and giving to others.

We thought it might be nice to do something good and helpful for the people of Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. A lesson in patience and giving. We taught them how to fold origami, that was an interesting experience. Enough said. Check out the website, there are some really great ideas there, a place to shop for ideas and ways students can help others around the world.

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ooooooo my legs

April 17, 2011 § 6 Comments

Yesterday we (me, Eli, Aubrey, Robert) hiked up the Belasica mountains to Tumba Peak, well almost to the peak. This is where the borders of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece meet. It was a beautiful hike, the views were amazing.

We caught a cab from Novo Selo through the town Smolare up to the waterfall. Smolare is the tallest waterfall in Macedonia! From there we hiked, and hiked, and hiked up the mountain. There is a very rough dirt road that goes most of the way up like switchbacks but there is also a foot path that goes almost straight up the mountain. It randomly intersects with the road. Closer to the top we decided to try to cut some time off and follow the path straight up…. my was that steep!

About three-quarters of the way up there is a natural spring, Sharena Cheshma,  shelter house and picnicking areas where we stopped for lunch and filled our water bottles.

At about 4,00 feet it started snowing on us and not much farther ahead the ground was almost completely covered with a layer of snow. At about 5,000 feet the road ended and the trail turned into exactly that, only visible by the red and white markings on the trees. We could no longer follow what looked like animal paths through the woods.

Robert and I made an attempt to go straight up following the dots on the trees. Now, keep in mind is was snow-covered and steep. With each step we took we were crawling and hanging on to small tree limbs. At one particular hairy corner, on the ascent and descent, I about slid down the mountain. Well, I am sure I would have stopped at some point, like from straddling a tree or where the snow ended.  After getting up to about 5,400 feet we decided to make our way back down, there was just too much snow, between ankle and knee-deep.

On the way down the mountain we decided to take the shortcuts through the woods instead of following the switch back roads. That is why my legs are killing me.

It took us 5 1/2 hours to hike up 4,000 feet and 3 1/2 hours to hike down.

Enjoy the pictures!

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Ohrid Macedonia

April 11, 2011 § 3 Comments

Last week the MAK 15’s had a conference in a beautiful town on a lake. We were lucky enough to stay in a wonderful hotel and well deserved. This was an opportunity to work with our counterparts and other PCV’s together, sharing opportunities and ideas from across the country.

I am sure there are a number of other pictures floating around on other volunteer blogs and FB pages, but here are mine. I don’t show our hard work, just our time letting off steam, playing.

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Then a number of us crashed the apartments of two other PCV’s that are lucky enough to live there. We stayed an extra day or two to soak up the sun and sites.  the pictures depict a very small portion of Ohrid; neighborhood over looking the lake, lake front, main shopping street, boat ride to the Monastery of Sv Naum, peacocks around Sv Naum.

ден на дрвото

April 1, 2011 § Leave a comment


Yesterday was tree planting day across Macedonia. Plant a tree grow your future!

Throughout the country every community gets together to make an effort to beautify, through ecological efforts, their corner of Macedonia.

The school group I was with went to the local church to plant a number of young trees. We started off at the school and walked down the main street just about a block to get to the back yard of the church.

The storks are back! Notice the giant nest on the bell tower. Yep, a stork in its nest. The church is a beautiful old church that was built in 1842, that will be my next posting.

While there I had the opportunity to meet some members of a group/club that is working very hard at promoting this ecological tradition, with hopes to grow this program throughout the Balkans.  I look forward to the opportunity to work more with the organization and be an active participant in expanding the club here in Bosilovo during my stay.

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