Working on a massive update, please make do with the following until then.

My birthday (oct 26) was cool. The peace corps trainees from the neighboring village Cherkese walked over (completely unrelated to my birthday) and we hung out at Davids house. he really has an awesome family. His host mom lays out so much stuff whenever we come over that there isnt enough room on the table until we eat some of it away. they were in the middle of making rakija too, his host dad was taking turns dressing up volunteers in his hat and taking pictures of rakija tasting.

My host mom made me a "torti" but it was completely unlike anything we would call a cake. like most albanian food, it was made in layers and it was a tad dry for my liking, but she smothered parts of it with chocolate and/or vanilla pudding as a tribute to icing and wrote "Urim e 23" on top. There was so much that ive been eating cake for 4 days. I do love it.

I played soccer with the village kids in the afternoon on my bday with my friend/neighbor/now host 'cousin' Ree. My host bro got me a vase from the store near our house which you would have a laugh to see if you know me. the vase is cream colored and with some parts painting in hot pink, complete with flowers on it. it was actually much needed. my pint sized friends in the village like to give me love letters with flowers taped onto the paper, so now i have a place to keep the flowers.

And! My birthday didnt end on my birthday. The next day, I delivered birthday cake to our friends around the village and the lady who owns the store near our house gave me an unsolicited hair cut... so i now have bangs again. to be honest though, i had just cut my hair into long (EVEN) bangs and was trying to fill the inevitable awkward silence caused by my lack of macedonian language and i tried to tell her that i had cut my own hair since i last saw her. she then got all excited and before i could move or stop her, she whipped out a towel, scizzors and comb and went to town. I cope by thinking, well now i will really blend in since i now have a macedonian hair cut. She totally missed some chunks and i havent had a chance to fix it since, but ive got to very very soon.

after my hair cut, i went to cake it up with my play dates, who are 4 children, ages 7-13. When ever I go to their house, I am there for HOURS. Like AT LEAST 5 hours. So, as a result, i am starting to grow fond of children. Otherwise I would lose my sanity. They gave me a present- a picture frame. So next time I go over, im going to take a picture of us together and put it in there. And when they went to get some soda for dinner, they came back with a present from Olga, the woman who owns the store/cuts my hair. Sarita would be super jealous of my present. Its a fake tinkerbell mirror, baby pink plastic with cardboard cutouts of a cartoony tinkerbell. Oh, and another package of pantyhose and a bar of chocolate which i ate in one night, last night actually, when i had the munchies and was a bit exhausted with makedonski jazik. i usually give my chocolate to my host mom since im on a mission to lose weight here. that, btw, is still going well.

in other news, I FINALLY MAILED A LETTER! it was quite a process really. trying to get to the post when its open, trying to find out where to get an air mail envelope, where to get postage. its definitely not a one stop shopping center. i only managed to accomplish this because some weird guy in the post office thought i was german and i was able to explain what i needed auf deutsch. i was quite wary of him though, i dont think he works there and he was creepy, but his help was key. it costs about $1 to mail a letter, but it takes about 2 weeks to actually get to a post office and mail it. the hours of the post office in our village are ridiculous and i usually get so excited to be in kumanovo that i forget to go to the post office there.

tomorrow is halloween, my favorite holiday for those just tuning in to my life. its a bit rough being plopped here a month before and not knowing where to get crafty things to make a costume. my training group will be going to hub day tomorrow together as a group costume, which i will reveal in a later entry. it works well because we are pretty good friends, which i hear is not the case for other PC training groups in MAK 13. i consider myself super lucky.

ah and i got a good travel tip for anyone considering a trip to visit Macedonia. For the more adventurous bargain seekers, it is much cheaper to fly in to Sofia, Bulgaria or Thessoliniki rather than Skopje. Plus, you are guaranteed some extra pasport stamps. im sure this issue is still quite a ways away, but just a small FYI.

Happy Halloween!


Kait said...

heidster! very nice photo of you on your friends blog. that seems just as exciting as doing homework at home and watching your cat play with the toilet bolt covers. oh wait, that's what I'M doing. ha. liked the update, will comment more later! hope all is well. kait

Brigid said...

Thanks for the tip! Your Peace Corps placement sounds like something you dreamed up and the Peace Corps realized for you. I am so happy for you and can't wait to play soccer with you and your newfound playmates.