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Thursday, August 16, 2012


Dance camp was a complete success. The entire week may have been the best week of my entire service. With the 3 PC volunteers helping me, my 4 Macedonian "helpers," and of my my favorite local people by my side, it could not have been better. The girls learned 8 choreographed dances and 13 Zumba. I am proud to say that every single dancer performed on stage, and the majority of the girls performed every dance! Most of the dances have been uploaded online, so I'm attaching them. I have to warn you, there are a lot of videos in this post!! Without saying much more, here are some of the dances:

This is the hip-hop dance I taught. You can see me front and center : )

This is the "pop" dance I taught.

My dance crew kids did this for me....I had no idea!!!!!

This is the ballet piece that Enid did....she's front and center.

The Charleston dance I did. I'm in the front again, but the quality of the video is pretty crappy. 

The modern piece that Enid did.

There were also some amazing photos taken by Lilika from the show. They are only available on FB, so if you are friends with me on there, you can see them! If not, let me know, and I can email you some of them. They are really fantastic!

My kids planned a lot of surprises for me. One of them was the "Bounce" dance. I'd been begging them to do it, but they surprised me instead! I also got more roses than I've ever received in my life, complete with a sheet banner that the kids made saying "We love you Morgan." There was a lot of crying and hugging and photo taking. The entire city was at the show to show their support, and there was an epic news segment too. The night ended with a really nice dinner at a place in the park..all my favorite people were there. 

Overall, is was a perfect week. The next few days were complete....I was so happy. And now...well, now it's on to the next adventure. :D

Ajde ciao-

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Today is a national holiday in Macedonia. Most people are either out of town, picnicking, or spending the day eating and celebrating with families. Personally, I have a lot of work to finish, as my dance camp begins this Saturday, and everyone will be coming into town tomorrow.

I have to admit, I have felt extremely stressed lately. Ive had a lot of work pile up in the past week or two, and it all makes me feel unorganized. I have everything done for camp, but Im still nervous it wont turn out as good as Im hoping. I know its unfair to think that way, and I know its kind of normal to be stressed over big events. Thankfully, I've got a lot of people coming into town to help me with the camp. I'll have 3 volunteers staying with me for the week, and two of them will be teaching their own dance classes. Right now, we will be teaching Zumba, hip-hop, ballet, modern, jazz, swing (Charleston), and a "Dancing the Classics" class, where the kids will learn stuff like the thriller dance. Originally, I had the boys teaching a breakdancing class as well, but they've dropped out. Instead, I want to offer an advanced choreo class, but Im still in the air about that one. I've also got some younger Macedonian ladies, who I worked at GLOW with, coming in to help me with whatever little daily things need to be done. They will be lifesavers, I just know it!

Right now, we've got the Mayor's office donating us bottled water for every day. We will be providing fruit every day, and we even have camp t-shirts made! On Wednesday, we will have our dance recital, where we will have about 13 or 14 dances total. I know it isn't that much, and the show won't be that long, but it isn't really the point. Honestly, I sincerely hope the dancers will all be willing to perform, as I know the concept is intimidating for those who've never been on stage before. There's no point in worrying, and I know this, but it still makes me anxious. : )

On a total side note- I've had a creature living in my kitchen walls for almost a month. If I had to guess, I'd say it was a rat. My walls are wooden, and most are slanted, so I can always hear where IT is. Well last night, a SECOND creature appeared and battled the other one! There was squealing and claws scratching, and the entire thing lasted for quite a while. They sounded like two mini-pigs, with all the squealing. I heard what I think was one death, possibly of the smaller creature. Then, for the rest of the night, I heard the winner slowly clawing its way around my walls, looking for a new opponent. The entire time, I laid on my couch just staring at the walls with my mouth open and my computer on mute. I kept thinking, What if they fall out of the wall? Always an adventure!

Humble people, I've found, don't get very far.
-Muhammad Ali

Thursday, July 26, 2012


It's been a hot minute...I know. And is HOT AS HELL HERE!!

I've been quite busy lately, I must admit. With the daily temps ranging between 93-100+, my daily activities have been varied. Recently, I've been spending an increasing amount of time up at the lake near my city. The lake is said to be "unclean and unsafe," but it hardly stops me from swimming. Honestly, the unclean part is the only semi-concern of mine, and the unsafe bit is from people swimming too close to the dam....or so I think. Regardless, I love it up there.

I've also recently been introduced to a new restaurant in my city. The place itself isnt new, but my discovery of it is! It's technically a "men's place," which really means it's mostly men there. Women rarely eat there, and when they do, it's with a man. Wellllll, let's just say I got there A LOT now, and I looooooove it!! They make this chicken dish pronounced "oo-vee-ya-chee," which is chicken stuffed with cheese and bacon. It is then rolled in bacon and grilled. Typically comes with fries, and I always get some fresh veggie salad and a beer to top it. Goodness, that dish is divine.

After getting home from camp, I also spent some time with a fellow PC friend, Carly. She lives on the Western side of the country with an Albanian family, so life over here for her is totally different. In short, we stayed up way too late every night talking, eating good food, making funny videos, and getting hair-wraps...yes, hair-wraps. Today was her last day with me, and we had another PC volunteer friend, Nicola, come into town for coffee this morning. Nicola is the oldest PC woman here, and she lives in a tiny village close to me. After hours of endless filter coffee and PC rambling, we decided to make a trip into her village. There, we got to see her apartment, which is furnished with the most amazing homemade trinkets, mobiles, origamis, and felted crafts. Her place felt like a tree house to me!! Afterwards, we walked across the street to one of two restaurants to eat platters of fried frog legs. Honestly...I LOVE frog legs here!! It was a great little day, and I was glad to have Carly visit.

This week and weekend are already packed. I've been finalizing plans for dance camp. I'm getting PC volunteers emailing me lef and right asking to come to my camp. I'm flattered that people are willing to help, but this is what I wanted to avoid: a huge PC isn't about's about Kocani and the kids. With already 3 volunteers coming to teach and help, plus a few other volunteers who are just coming to observe...well, let's just say Im hoping all the company doesnt stress me out. : ) I'm the kind of person who desperately needs some space, but it may get tight with too many people. Regardless, I think we will have a blast! The girls I have coming are so much fun, and Im really looking forward to having some epic slumber party nights with them, along with lots of cooking and impromptu dancing! We've even added some fun things to camp, like little electives the kids can take during a break between classes. We're going to offer makeup and hair design, along with some other crafty things, which we hope will help everything on the day of the show. If they kids know hairstyles by then, maybe they can do it on each other for the show!! :D

Other than that, the other thing keeping me busy is more company. This Sunday, I should be reunited with my 2 close friends from Lozovo, Andres and Claire. You should remember them from my earliest videos, if youve been following me. They will be passing through, and having them for a reunion will be awesome!! Then a week from tomorrow, I've got 3 people on their way here to help prep for camp. My oh so so busy.

The summer has already flown by, and I find myself wondering where the time has gone. It felt like just a week ago that the weather was fickle and I was leaving my hibernation. It's amazing how much truly changes each month here, and even I feel myself feeling differently about almost everything. My...what the weather can do to you.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm a big deal

I got coffee with the US Ambassador, Wholers, this morning, and the news was kind enough to document it. Here you go:

Read the Article

Your browser should automatically translate it for you. If not, you can scroll down and see the fancy photo. : ) There is video coverage too. If you click on the link below, you should press the video from 7/19/12. It will be the first story.

Video Link

In other news, I made a cute video from some of the "funnies" that happened at camp. I'll leave you with that.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Camp is DONE!

I'm back from camp. It was a long and exhausting 10 days. I taught multiple classes, and I spent the rest of my time filming everything and making little videos. I am really thankful for getting to know some of the CITs (counselors in training), as well as getting to know some other PCVs a bit better. Even though camp was a bit much, I still managed to find humor in everything. : ) I must say though, my Zumba class was a HIT!! The girls LOVED it!! I had to teach the class 4 times in a row, so it turned into 4 hours of me dancing, which exhausting the daylights out of me. That night, I even had the girls dragging me down the hallway in a blankt, bc I was too sore and tired to walk! hahahaha Some of the videos are already available on my YouTube page, if you are interested in viewing them. I should be making one or two more today or tomorrow, so you can view those as well.

Ever since I got back, I've tried to relax a bit. I did a light lunch with Bill and Paul yesterday, and spent the evening with local friends, which made me feel normal again. I'm still teaching dance classes, so that is occupying my time in Kocani as well right now. I'm hoping to have my apartment cleaned up and my life back to some kind of routine within the next day or two, because I feel completely unorganized right now!

There really isn't that much to do here when it is so damn hot. It's been over 100 degrees here....the other day, it was 115 degrees in Skopje! Without airconditioning or a fan, the heat inside can be double what it is outside. Thankfully, I have means to cool off inside, but not all volunteers do. But yea....most people in my city are hibernating from the heat right now. When I walked into the center yesterday, I hardly passed a walking soul! I'm hoping I can be creative with my time and some friends in ways to beat the heat, like swimming up in the lake outside of the city. Other than that, I'll be spending the majority of my time inside working on the last things for dance camp!

That's all I have for now. I'm still tired. : )

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Camp time!!

It's been a week since I got home from my vacation, and already I have left again. For the next ten days, I will be working at an all girls camp in the Western side of the country. I've got to admit...I really wish I could have some more time to just relax and be by myself, but camp should be fun!

So I'll be teaching 4 classes while I am here. I have a photography class, and I'll be teaching the kids how to build pinhole cameras. I'll also be leading some Zumba classes, a karaoke evening, and a class on the different regions of Macedonia. I'm not a counselor, so I don't have a group of girls to look after. I'm actually an instructor, so I have a bit more flexibility with my schedule. I'll be hopping in and out of everyone's sessions, and I will also be filming a lot. They are excited about me making some videos, so I'll probably spend a lot of time working on those too.

By the time I get home, I will have about 3 weeks to pull together the last things for the dance camp. Other than that, I hope to spend some time just relaxing at home for a bit. I feel like I havent had time to catch my breath at all. I want to sleep in...go out to eat with some local buds...even go to the pub for a night!! Either way, I have a feeling the rest of the summer is going to fly by!!

That's really all I have. I'm too hot and tired for much more of an update. It's been in the high 90's, and we currently have no AC and no fans.....just brutally hot is all. Ok...till next time!!

-Lewis Carroll