Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Слава/Slava with Vesna!

Once back in Skopje, I thought I would have a little down time, but I was invited to Vesna’s (remember she was the one that drove me the Jen’s Surprise Bday party) слава (slava). The Slava is a celebration of the family’s namesake. According to my Macedonian Language Textbook, families do not usually invite people over, but you are just supposed to “know” when the saint’s day is. However, Vesna told Jen and I :).

I caught a bus to Tetovo on Tuesday and arrived in time to go to lunch with a co-worker of Jen’s at this hotel restaurant. It was pretty good- well, what I had, but there was almost no veggie options so I got shopska salad and french fries with cheese (to split with Jen). Then the friend dropped us at Ramstore to try to pick up a small gift to bring back with us to Vesna’s. It took awhile, but we decided to make tissue paper flowers and put them in a chocolate candy bar vase. We thought it was inventive and different from anything else. And we were not sure if they drank wine.

Vesna picked us up at 7pm (right when it was starting, so she could help get everything ready and then come pick us up- so we didn’t have to try to tell a tax how to get there). When we walked in her parents greeted us (they don’t speak a lot of English), and showed us into the dining room/living area. Where there was SO MUCH FOOD! There was 3 meat platers, 2 bread platers, 2 dessert platters, stuffed and cooked red peppers for me (the vegetarian), salads, drinks!

Vesna sat us and then brought in this sweet cake thing where we were supposed to take a spoonful and eat it and put the spoon back into a little cup. It was pretty good- a little sweet, a little nutty. Not sure what was in it at all. Will have to ask Vesna. Then we were told to serve ourselves, while they got us something to drink (juice and soda for us boring people). They then brought out the stuffed peppers for me and served me one. I also got some of the bread that Jen and helped them bake the previous weekend. There were three different types of bread- little twisted sticks with a slight kick, pinwheel with sesame seeds, and little puff ones with cheese inside. And slices of cheese I ate with it. I also tried this fermented cabbage thing (not my favorite, but still good for people who like that kind of thing).

Jen and I then took a break form eating and went to sit on the couch when more people came. This round of people were mostly family members. And they were super nice, and the younger ones that we sat with spoke English. I got to practice my Macedonian with Vesna’s baba (grandma) while she told me about her family and how it made her so happy to have all of her children there with her. We discussed how you were able to become a pharmacist (you can work with supervision after high school, but you need a university degree to work by yourself). And jst life in Macedonia and the US. It was a nice relaxing night. Vesna took us home at about 10:40 pm.

Then, I stayed up until I found out where my Teach For America placement would be. And I found out at 12:23 am 11/9. Only abut 10 minutes before they officially notified us. I was placed in Jacksonville, FL in secondary social science!! So happy!! You can check out my TFA blog here at (

Then we went to sleep after I called my family and told them where Iwas placed (read about 2:30 am.

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