Whew! A couple of very long days. And a lot of incredibly new experiences.
We met the Deputy Chief of Mission yesterday. He really gave a very interesting talk about what he feels the future holds for Macedonia, how the Peace Corps are received by the citizens of the country (enthusiastically!), and a bit of history on the conflict between Greece and Macedonia. Prior to his arrival, we were entertained by both Macedonian and Albanian folk dancing groups. I managed to capture video of the groups and will hopefully have it posted with this post (testing my skills!) I won’t post all of the videos but if you are interested in seeing them, let me know and I will email them to you.
We started language classes the first day and have mastered the alphabet and basic greetings. By the end of the week I will know if I have been selected for the dual language program and will live my Peace Corps service time in a Shqip Muslim community. It will require a few life adjustments on my part but I believe I can handle those changes quite easily.
Last night we went on a visit to the town of Tetovo. The school we are living and learning in is just outside of the city. We ate dinner and were quite stuffed when we finished. I had a chicken filet and split a salad with one of my fellow trainees as well as a bottle of wine. The bottle of wine cost 500 denars which is about $8.00. It was quite good and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Dinner cost 170 denars which is less than the cost of a Big Mac–$3.62!
I will be getting a new Sim card for my phone along with a pay as you go plan. Card costs $6.25 and plan is about $10 every time you refill it at any local store. And T-Mobile has the market here! It is all over the place.
And I am officially a Macedonian resident now! I have received my MK residency card and can quit carrying my passport. I will only need the passport if I cross over international borders.
Life as a PCV is certainly exciting and entertaining. Hope you enjoy the two little videos. They were taken with a tiny little point and shoot. No big fancy cameras for me. And yes, the sound is tinny–that’s the way it was projected in the amphitheater. Acoustics were marginal
DISCLAIMER: VIDEOS DID NOT LOAD!