I have started working at a wonderful NGO, Macedonia 2025, which is actually using me and letting me be beneficial to their work. I go in once a week and have a great day with Biljana, who works there.
In February, I didn’t leave the country. I know, shocking, especially after my declaration to travel. I am ashamed at myself actually. I did do a lot in Macedonia. I hung out with these Canadians who own a company in MK, that I meet thorough Hyun (the embassy worker I met on Christmas Eve). That was a fun week, and they are genuinely nice people. But that week ended with their first annual company party where they invited everyone they knew to come hang out and celebrate.
Then a few weeks later, Chis (one of them) came back to wine and dine a client/friend. And that week we went out every. single. night. And ate dinner at 9:30 each night. No joke. Welcome to Macedonia. But it was really nice to hang out with them. They are some nice people here in Skopje and they seem to genuinely care about having fun and welcoming new people.
I also went over to Hyun’s one day when he wasn’t there to cook with his housekeeper. He asked her to make all Vegetarian food, and I thought it would be cool to learn some new recipes. She was really nice and we never lagged for conversation the whole day. One of the funniest parts of the day was that he had someone come over and fix his broken front door, and they so thought I was the lady of the house and kept asking me questions and commenting to me about things. It wasn’t until the very end that they figured out I didn’t live there (although “I don’t have a key” should have been a good indicator). Dinner that night was super delicious! We had croquettes, stuffed peppers and potatoes, quiche, stuffed mushrooms, and cous cous salad. So many yummy dishes that I will be trying to make on my own in a bit.
One weekend in February, I was supposed to go Brussels for a conference. But the airline I was on went bankrupt. Luckily, I found out the week before I was supposed to go, so I didn’t show up at the airport and then find out, but still. I am currently going trough my credit card company to get my money back. That weekend I went to a one day conference with an NGO Progress about MK and EU integration. It was very interesting and I got to see what one of the main parties here SDSM (the opposition, progressive party) thought about a lot of the different issues. I also picked up a lot of cool literature about the Balkans.
That night (2/11), there was a fundraiser for an animal shelter here in Skopje at the Irish Pub. A bunch of us went to support the cause. They had a live band with “rock.” (Rock here means oldies and classics, by the way not real rock.) It was a bunch of fun a definitely a girls night out. We had an amazing time! And supported a really good cause- there are a lot of homeless dogs around Skopje that need food and love. Everytime I see them, my heart breaks a little because I know I can't save them.
I also went to Tetovo and Stip to present about American Wedding Traditions. It was neat to see Stip, where I had never been. The ride down was very pretty and I had a yummy lunch at a local restaurant. See pictures from Tetovo by clicking here and from Stip by clicking here. And I presented at the Skopje corner as well, see here.
Other than this, in Feb. I was busy meeting new NGOs and working on writing up my research blog.
Oh and it SNOWED! Like a mini- blizzard. And went down to -20C/0 F. Yes, ZERO DEGREES! Let’s just say that was a bit cold. And every single Macedonian disappeared and never went outside. And they didn’t want to go to any American Corner events either. Then in the first nice weekend, suddenly there was an EXPLOSION OF PEOPLE. SO MANY PEOPLE ON THE STREET!!!
See you around the globe!