Sadly this trip has no photographs to go with it. I didn't have my camera with me at any of these places!
The first three days back were pretty routine- NGO work, TFA work (I’m preparing for my TFA journey starting this summer. Check out the blog at Jacksonville Journey.), finishing up my Fulbright responsibilities, etc. But then on Friday May 4, Jen, a few others and I went to the Marine’s Cino de Mayo party! It was the third one I had been to but the first anyone else was interested in going to. I was looking forward to seeing a few friends there, and meeting the new Marines that are stationed in Skopje now. We had a great time. I can’t think of any other holiday where you would see Mexican flags in a US Marines house. Just saying. (Although I do have to point out that stereotypes are stereotypes and not all Marines act the same way.) Then on Sunday I got invited back for an impromptu BBQ- which was a lot calmer and totally fun!
On Tuesday, I went with IWA to visit A Balkan Tale, which is a new museum exhibit about the Ottoman influence in the Balkans. It had a very well done video, and a bunch of photographs around an old part of the National Museum. The photographs were of famous sites around the Balkans that existed in the Ottoman empire times. It was really cool to see, and I found a new museum in Skopje to go back to. Skopje stinks on tourist information, like really bad. There is almost no literature on it, and there is no handy guide/map that hostels give out or have available. So I have almost no information on Skopje or things to do in Skopje. It stinks!!
After the museum visit, I went with the American Corner to go talk to a language school in Skopje as part of their out reach while the corner is closed for renovation and moving. It was fun! We played taboo and talked about school in America! It was fun trying to see them figure out new words to explain things in English. (But the American Corner did: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150797499625848.387297.23234200847&type=3)
On Wednesday, the 9th, IWA had their last meeting of the school year that I can attend. The meetings always go the same: 1 hour of social time (aka mostly gossip or talking about what you have been up to) then the meeting will start late with a raffle and then a bit of discussion of what is coming up. At the end of the year, that’s not much! Afterwards we went to Restaurant Lira, which was really yummy! They had great baked zucchini, and we had a delicious Macedonian spread of appetizers. They are a nice group of ladies (even though most of them have no clue what real life is like in Macedonia- not that I do either, but it is so much closer for me than them) and I have enjoyed getting to know them this past year! When I got home, I worked from home for the NGO I work with.
On Thursday, I went to SEEU to give a presentation/lecture on Feminism in America. I mostly wanted to get them talking about feminism and feminist ideas. But man. These kids are tough. They don’t seem to want to open their minds and consider other opinions. And by were they so racist and sexist! I mean, I know that they have never been exposed to anything like that, but it was still tough t stomach some of the things that they say.
Friday the 11th involved getting home from SEEU with a really really bad combi driver. This guy lied, and took two hours to get to Skopje. It was not fun or good. But he was a good con man. We even had him drop us off as close to Ramstore as possible because we were done with walking and only paid him 100 MKD. Then Jen, Lizzie, Daniel, Anjie, Aidan, Eliana and I had a good bye dinner. That would be the last time we could all get together. We went to Plaza de Torres and had yummy yummy dinner before we had to hop on a train and go to BELGRADE!