…. and I forgot to make a mud pie

June 26, 2011 § 4 Comments

Last week I had the privilege of working at an archaeological dig, the acropolis of Bylazora. At one time in my life I had the dream of being an archaeologist or paleontologist, searching and digging for buried treasures. Why didn’t I??? Well, I could not see myself spending years on my knees in the hot sun. At the time that is what I envisioned. Now, I know different.

This opportunity came through the efforts of the Texas Foundation for Archaeological and Historical Research www.tfahr.org/BylazoraProject.html in cooperation with the Peoples  Museum of Sveti Nikole.

Please check out their website for great information and details about the history of this archaeological site. A good read wold be the 2010 TFAHR Bylazora Excavation Publication. I know I could not do justice in describing the details. Their website has so much valuable information about the Foundation itself, expeditions they are and have been involved in, their International Field School, pottery (shapes, working with and drawing) and the fine details of this ancient Paionian site of Bylazora in Ovče Pole http://www.tfahr.org/dig2011.html

If you want a general idea about the period of the site read about King Philip II, Alexander the Great, or Iliad. I believe we were working in an area and finding artifacts dating back into the Iron Age as well, but that is speculation???

My Wednesday, Thursday and Friday looked like this –  wake at 4ish, grab a quick bite to eat, swallow some coffee, gather my gear for the day (hat, sunscreen, breakfast, water) and meet the van down the street at 4:45 to join the working crew. We pick up a few of the locals on the way out to the site. By 5:00 we are hiking up the hill to the main site. As soon as we arrive tools are gathered, directions given and the fun begins! As for the bulk of the day you can see for yourself in the pictures. We took about a 30 minute breakfast break at 8ish and “no new dirt” was announced at 11:45ish when it was time to start cleaning up. I do think it ironic that that entails sweeping the floors clean, dirt floors. But, it works, and it’s amazingly tidy when done. I had the opportunity learn the art of shoveling and throwing dirt, hauling wheel barrows, picking, hoeing, troweling, tidying up the corners, identifying special from non-special pieces of pattery. There is a knack to all of it, I am only just a beginner.

I have to be clear about this … I did not discover any fine finds, but had the privilege of helping work in and around some pretty nifty discoveries (well, at least nifty and cool to me).

The working crew was made up of the Project Directors and numerous volunteers from around the globe: US, Macedonia, England, Australia, Serbia, Poland, France. Many of the volunteers have worked with the  foundation for years.

I believe this has been my most rewarding and memorable experience here in Macedonia. Rock climbing is a very close second. I want to thank Natty for arranging this opportunity and allowing PCV’s to crash at his place also a special thank you to Gail and Ana for your guidance and allowing me to learn and play in your trench.

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I have tried to put these pictures in some sort of order or grouping.



June 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

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Pictures from this last weekend. It was quiet, just Christine and I doing some painting, relaxing and enjoying a fire. It is really a nice feeling. Working on my existential self, standing quiet, contemplating the sound of the water, song of the birds, breeze ruffling my clothes, smell of the linden trees … I am here in Macedonia. Experiencing.

Tomorrow I am off to help on an archaeological dig in Sveti Nikole, The Bylazora Project.


June 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have never climbed a rock so big I needed a rope. I went rock climbing for the first time last weekend. That could be addicting. Pilav Tepe is just a little north outside of Radovich.

A friend and fellow PCV is working with a couple groups to offer a place for mountain biking, rock climbing and hiking, and I get to help! We are going to be doing some work and play weekends spending some time getting the mountain house ready for visitors. This weekend we will be working on a mural for one of the inside walls … keep watching for updates. I will continue to add more pictures.

Yes, we hiked up to the white cross on the rock, the rock climbing is down below the cross. It was great to spend some time outdoors, casual, work and play, and a bonfire in the evening.

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Celebratory pizza with grade V

June 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

We went to Park. They have the best pizza in Macedonia … so they say. I do not have enough experience to testify. But, it is good!

The students dressed in their party clothes and were on their best behavior to show appreciation and say goodbye to their 5th grade teachers. Present was the mayor, director of the school, each classroom teacher, the librarian, my counterpart and I. Next year they will still be at the same school but will have new homeroom teachers. 

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It was great to watch the students dance and sing to traditional music.


nocino … orahovica … oreovka

June 18, 2011 § 7 Comments

young walnuts … sugar … sun

This appears to be like nocino без alcohol and spices. I will add it to rakija when it is done. I am not sure what it is called here, maybe my Macedonian friends can comment?

Fill jar with young walnuts, fill more with sugar, screw lid on very tight, put in sun. Randomly shake and add more sugar as the days go by. 40 days? We shall see. They were started June 1, the most progressed picture was yesterday.

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