So we survived our first Macedonian storm the other night. One of my best friends here, a fellow volunteer named Andres, came over with his host family’s’ grandson. Here in Lozovo, there is literally nothing to do. People go and visit with one another about every hour, so it is welcome when guests show up at the door. We sat around and ate and ate and ate (because that is all we do) and then the storm began. I know the words for rain and storm and wind, so it was good practice. Then the lights went out….
In America, when the lights go out, you can still somewhat see. There is always a room you can go in where you can see. There is always a window emitting some type of light. There is always the option of going outside, and lights from somewhere will illuminate the world around you. Here, we had none of that. It was as black as you can possibly imagine. Even outside, there is nothing around us for miles. You cannot find a step, a tree, or a house, even if it is right next door. So my mother and I had to walk Andres home with my epic flashlight that Mimi and the wonderful women at Willowbrook helped me get. The flashlight was quite the hit!! Later, we came back and studied more.
I have to tell ya…the language is really difficult. I have never studied so hard for something. I carry around my notebook and Macedonian dictionary with me everywhere. I can spell and read in Macedonian, but it still takes time to look stuff up when trying to hold a conversation. Miming is still a favorite pastime. Last night, my mother asked what my mother back home does for a living. I looked up “auctioneer,” but they didn’t understand. So Andres and I acted it out, using all Macedonian numbers!! I think my mother would be quite proud. Funny enough, they still didn’t understand. So the explanation turned into about 15 minutes of looking up keys words. Finally, I achieved the “Ohhh!!!” from my parents, but I believe they still think I am crazy. Haha
Another thing that is taking getting used to is the time. Some families don’t eat breakfast, and most families eat lunch around 4pm. Dinner is typically at 11 or 12, and mainly consists of a variety of foods you can snack on. My mom REALLY wants me to gain weight, so whenever I say “sock-um kirikichi” (which is I love peanuts) they take it to heart and always have peanuts on the table. My mother also insists that I have about 5 Turkish coffees a day, because I said “monogoo dobro café,” which is I REALLY love coffee. Bad move. I did learn how to make Turkish coffee though!!
What I was about to say was that it is kind of looked down upon for you to have private time. It’s like you’re saying you don’t want their company…they just don’t function that way. Even right now, I am typing this at home (putting it online tomorrow) and my mother is cooking our lunch. She was disappointed I was one room over, and keeps coming in here to see if I’ll watch her. That being said, I must go. My best bet for private time is when I say I am going to bed, so I can read alone. J Still having a blast. So far, this is the most rewarding experience of my life!!