These 4 wonderful women have sort of ‘adopted me’. First from the left is our hostess, then my host mom, then Sam’s host mom, then me. Another is taking the picture. I’m having a perfectly wonderful time and feeling very grateful to be included! Everyone is happy I’m moving only 45 minutes away and they’ve already started planning the dates I need to come back to Kratovo for different events….which is VERY sweet, and I truly hope I CAN come back sometimes, but I can’t drive a car while in the Peace Corps, taxi’s are expensive, and I’m acutely aware that I have to build a life and a circle of friends in the town where I’ll be living. So I don’t want to make too many promises, but I really do enjoy their company. The 4 food shots are just examples of the hospitality over here—even when it’s just 5 girlfriends getting together. Everything is home-grown (or purchased from farmers at the Pazaar), home-baked, and sometimes even home-killed (see below) and totally without preservatives. I have mused about whether I’ll come back looking healthier or 10 yrs older because of the lack of preservatives in my body.
Earlier today I was invited to go out to the farm with Sam’s family again, but it was hog-killing day and I chose not to participate in that particular activity. Sam says he took lots of pictures for me…Thanks, but no thanks! And yes, I eat meat and it might be a little dichotomous of me, but I’m still drawing the line on that particular fall farm fun.
On Tuesday I go to Kriva Palanka where I’ll meet my counterpart and see the town where I’ll be living for the next 2 years. The idea is that we travel on Tuesday, shadow our counterpart on Wednesday and travel home on Thursday, but since my assignment is only 45 minutes away, I’ll have a little extra time to look around. I won’t be able to see my apartment yet (darn!) because they’ll make those announcements when we’re all together in a couple weeks. My counterpart left a whole package of information on the town at the PC office which was given to me on Friday during ‘hub day’ in Kumanovo. I have really enjoyed looking through the brochures and booklets and I think I’m very fortunate to be assigned there.