Well a new year has already begun. It's crazy that I've just survived my first set of holidays over here. Although Xmas was difficult (as expected), New Years was MUCH easier!!
Last Wednesday, I woke up SICK. I was so mad. My throat hurt when I spoke or swallowed, and I had headaches with my congested head. Rob was flying into Macedonia that night, so I spent the rest of the day after school trying to sleep it off. Rob got in safe and sound that night, but I still felt pretty ill. By Friday, we rode into Skopje to see the PC doctors, which is really a pain to go there and back. The trip is like 2.5 hours each way on a bus. Then, once you get to Skopje, you have to get on another bus for another 30 minutes just to get to the PC office. The good news was I was able to get some proper medicine, and the doctor told me I just had an upper respiratory infection. We spent the second half of that day walking around Skopje, enjoying the Xmas lights and eating Arabian food. haha
Saturday, we woke up to snow on the ground!! We decided to make our errands quick so we could literally spend the rest of the day and night inside. And that's exactly what we did!! For our New Years celebration, we made A LOT of Mexican food....I mean, A LOT. We seriously ate the hell out of some tacos and nachos. By midnight, we were able to stand out on my mini balcony and watch the locals shoot off fireworks from house to house. Kids ran in the streets, shooting fireworks at cars passing by. The view was actually spectacular...and not because of the fireworks, but because I was really able to register where I was for the celebration of the New Year. It felt good.
The last couple days were a lazy mess. I've slowly gotten over my illness by resting in bed and watching a lot of movies and TV shows on my computer. Rob has so far gotten to meet Emilija and her family, as well as Paul, which is AWESOME!! I was trying to explain how good it feels to have someone come here and see where I live, meet the people I adore, and even do the basics like running errands with me (he got to see the butcher shop!) It's also nice to have someone from another country to talk about the cultural differences with.....overall, it's just nice to have his company here!!
Starting on Thursday, Macedonians will begin to celebrate their Christmas here. It all begins on the 5th and lasts until the 7th. I'll be going into Lozovo for this occasion, and I was just told by Milevka last night that Rob is welcome to join as well. We are going to have a full house!! Thursday night will be a big village-wide bonfire, complete with food and drinks. Friday is a type of fasting day, where families mainly eat lentils and salads and stuff...nothing with meat in it. We will spend a good chunk of that day visiting the other families and volunteers. Then, Saturday is the actual Christmas day. I'm not sure if we are staying that night too, but we will see. I'm already anticipating how cold that house is going to be!!
Anywho....I'm excited to see my family and the volunteers again. It'll be a nice little break. Once I get back, teachers are supposed to go back into work to plan what they are going to do in the coming year. I have a lot to plan with both my director and Emilija, and I'm excited to start talking about the new little projects we want to implement. There is already talk of a photo club, a school newspaper, a radio station, and (my favorite) converting the basement area into a dance studio. The gym teacher wants me to teach the kids some ballroom dancing for their upcoming prom. HOORAH!! I'm also excited about being able to show Rob some more of Macedonia while he is here. There is a festival down south in a couple of weeks we are already planning on hitting up. It's the one carnival that looks kind of like Halloween....people dress up all crazy in the streets and stuff. Seriously looking forward to that one.
I hope everyone had an excellent New Years celebration. I can honestly say I had a great one. Looking forward to hearing from everyone!!