TOMORROW! Can hardly believe the day is here when I will take the oath to become an official Peace Corps Volunteer. This is when my two year commitment begins. But first I must get through Thanksgiving Day. Must admit that I don’t feel much excitement about turkey day Macedonian style since I celebrated with family and friends prior to departing the states. Think I would I would rather have roasted a chicken for my family and made a mini Thanksgiving to thank them for their hospitality and education for the last ten weeks and spend quality time with them. Perhaps that is what I will do next year. And I can tell you that I have so many things to be thankful for: new family and friends; my ongoing healthy life style; knowing I will impact the lives of communities here in Macedonia; being a part of GLOW and helping young women develop their leadership abilities; and, of course, my supportive family in the states without whom I probably would have never been able to realize this dream, this item on my bucket list, this adventure of a lifetime.
I’m 95% packed. My luggage will be picked up tonight and delivered to my new home. I will arrive on Saturday with the balance of my belongings. I do need to have clothes for tomorrow and Saturday so a few items will still be here along with the items that still are not dry from doing the laundry the other day. Fortunately it is not many items.
The mayor of this area gave all nine of us an Albanian flag to fly on flag day–which just also happens to be swearing in day. The people here truly love the volunteers and have made every effort to welcome us into their homes, their culture, their families and their hearts. I know I will cry when I leave here on Saturday but I have to keep in mind that they are not far away and I will be able to come see them anytime I have free time. When I told them I hoped to visit at least once a month they told me that is not enough! It is nice to be loved.
I will now be free to travel around the country. One of the first places I want to go is Matka Canyon. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful places in the Balkans. And fortunately for me, it is extremely close to my new home. Hoping to make it to a wine festival on Valentine’s Day. The winery in that area even has overnight accommodations. I must say the few opportunities I have had to taste wine in this country I have not been disappointed. And they have all been incredibly reasonably priced. There are “expensive wines” but even those are not outrageous by US standards–$15 – $25.
But now to focus on денот на благодарноста! Gobble, gobble.