Church life? So far—there is none. I mean, there are churches all over the place, and sometimes the gates to the courtyards are open, although I haven’t found any actual buildings to be open yet. There’s usually a great big lock hanging off the front doors. I asked my host family and they said that people do go to church on Sunday morning sometimes, but there aren’t any actual services. I haven’t tried to go yet because I’m kind of reluctant to go alone and it’s certainly not a part of my host family’s routine. Sounds like light duty for the “Pope” (pastor) to me.
Next weekend I will go to a cemetery with my host mom as she remembers the anniversary of the death of her father 4 years ago. And December 19th I’m invited to come back here for the weekend as they celebrate the 22 yr old son’s ‘Name Day’ which happens to be Nikola. OK, it’s the week before OUR Christmas—which they celebrate mid-January, but apparently we will go to church and then there will be ‘big times’ back here at the house. I’ll keep you ‘posted’ (pun intended).
So apparently church life is centered around holidays. The ‘baba’s’ (grandmothers) go more regularly (I’m told) but I haven’t yet figured out the spiritual aspect of Macedonian life. Go figure–it’s only month number 2.
And today is America’s favorite pagan holiday! A bunch of people dressed up for our ‘hub day’ as we got together in Kumanovo on Friday. They were very inventive Halloween costumes because let’s face it; costumes weren’t a priority to pack when you’re packing for 2 years. I dressed up too—warmly in about 6 layers and was very happy.
My packages from America didn’t make it yet, but they should certainly be there next time I go to ‘hub day’ in 2 weeks. Speaking of which…some of you have asked if you could send me something and I am very appreciative, but I’m kind of waiting to see my apartment next month. Then I’ll know what I need and I’ll know an actual address. Happy Halloween to all!