Suitcase all packed. Four bags of marshmallows, 150 safety pins, birthday crown, Nescafe’s, name tags, yarn, crayons, pens, pencils and oh, yes–some clothes. I have a very heavy suitcase and I have to navigate getting it out of the house and to the bus stop and then on the bus tomorrow morning at 0600! Then when I get to Skopje I will get my ticket to Krushevo and then go sit in the little town until 17.30 and wait for our NGO partner to show up. They have wonderful little restaurants and a place to drink coffee or wine and just enjoy watching life go by or reading. And the reason I am leaving so early is that if I take the next bus to Krushevo it doesn’t arrive until 16.30 and is often late so there is a chance that I will miss the final leg of my trip if my bus is late and then have to take a taxi there.
Once our NGO partner arrives, we will load up bags and send them up to camp–yes, up. This camp is located on the side of a mountain so we have about a half hour hike up a road of switchbacks to even get to the camp. For fairly obvious reasons, I’m a bit nervous about this hike with my knee being what it is and the fact that I am still on meds for my ulcer which increase the urgency for finding a bathroom.
Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) will host 80 of the best and brightest from all over Macedonia and they will receive education in things like public speaking, democracy, team building, leadership, and oh yes–sex ed. We bill sex-ed ad “Women’s Health” which is what it is. Fortunately we have an excellent provider of professionals delivering this information and not a PCV. This is the first year we are also providing an out door component . Girls will get to sleep out one night and make foil dinners and s’mores (the reason for marshmallows which are non-existent in MK) They will do some star gazing, learn to pitch a tent and build a campfire. Our NGO partner seems to think we need a male to help us do this. Little does he know the wealth of experience we bring. I’m a BSA Silver Beaver and Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, Gwen is a gold star holder from Girl Scouts, Stacie has worked at the YMCA of the Rockies for the last five years. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. We will show him what women can do! I think he may be surprised.
But now I have to finish my packing and get someone to take my suitcase downstairs so I don’t have to navigate that. The nice part is that my suitcase will be half empty when I come home in ten days. I like that!