I spent the past 2 weeks in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. I went to physical therapy every day….for an hour, which became very old, very quickly. Not the PT itself, which was top-quality, professional, and quite frankly helpful. But what do you do with the rest of the day? I visited the Museum of Macedonia, the Museum of Skopje, the Mother Theresa Museum/Memorial (very well-done, and made me want to reconsider my ability to contribute to the world!). I ate brunch at a $4 all-you-can-eat Mediterranean restaurant (gotta love fallafel, tsaziki, and lentil soup for breakfast!) and even visited the Skopje McDonalds one day when I just needed a place to park my butt while passing some time (they DO serve coffee there, if not the kind you may be used to!). I got a professional massage (not what it is at my local place in FL–really miss Jesse my massage therapist!) and it made me feel whole again. I didn’t go to the zoo–wanted to, but was too afraid I’d have to try to submit another bid for a grant if the animals weren’t treated the way I’m used to seeing at Bush Gardens in Tampa. I hung out at the Peace Corps HQ and had some WONDERFUL help by a staff member who guided me to having my I-Phone ‘cracked’ so that it is now is connected to my Macedonian telephone number and it also has some really cool apps. (Subscribe to ‘Viber’ and we can talk for hours for free!).
Over the weekend I got to visit a Macedonian college town called Stip in order to do a seminar on blogging and presentations for the GLOW club (Girls Leading Our World). I stayed in a fellow volunteer’s apartment that made me very grateful for my little corner of the universe–very small, but very warm, and at least I have a balcony with the promise of SUN in the comming spring and summer! That said, there are no other volunteers (or any other Americans, i.e. Fulbright Scholars like in the college town) in my corner of Macedonia.
I think that’s good! I’m forced to concentrate on learning the language, bonding with my Macedonian friends, making my own headway in my world….it’s all good! And I feel a bit like I’m ‘gainfully employed’….meaning I’ve applied for grant money to renovate the Kriva Palanka Fire Department. We are trying to create meeting space for Fire Prevention and Safety programs, Community Meeting space for youth groups and other community meetings, and a professional space for these fire-fighters/community servants to live and work. I hope the grant is approved, and I think it will be a long-term, sustainable opportunity for my town.
Love to all………