I was invited to a Christmas Buffet on Christmas Eve at a "new Embassy family" that turned out to be the Director of USAID. They were super nice and I was able to eat some American snack items. That made it kinda cool. There were a bunch of people there, I even made some contacts that might pan out for more NGOs. I really loved talking to different people there. There were even some younger people there (the family has three kids, two older than me and one younger) that I was a bit shocked at. It was a nice surprise, I usually expect mostly "older" staff members and not younger people. Being the youngest Fulbrighter over here (I'm only 22, the others are 26, 29, 34), I often feel like I am in a different place in my life than most of them are. Anyway, a few of the new people I met were going to go out to a bar with a few local friends, and I got invited along. And then made some new friends! You should get to know their names, they will more than likely pop-up a lot the rest of the time. Hyun, who works at the Embassy; Danny, a new Marine at the Embassy; Vancho, Iva, Zlatka- new Macedonian friends who work in Skopje! Then we ended staying out until 4 am, well, that is when I left because I had to wake up early the next day.
I caught a kombe to Tetovo on Christmas to celebrate with Jen and Lizzie. That was a tough one to get up on 5 hours of sleep. But, it was still fun. When I got there, Jen was making fritta for our yummy breakfast.
When Lizzie woke up, we had our fritta with a lot of yummy fruit! (Have I mentioned that I love the food here?) Then we open Christmas presents.
Jen made sure to get us some toys!
Then we basically vegged out, watched movies, and talked to our family. It was actually a lot of fun for me. Lizzie was very unhappy and missing her family, as was Jen. It was actually the first time any of us had been away from our family for the holidays. We also made dinner. We had Squash casserole, potato pancakes, curried zuchinni, and the afore mentioned lemonade -raspberry cake. Here was our spread:
Of course, we had to take pictures with Santa. (it squeaked, by the way..kinda weird).