I was kidnapped today by Bukurie and the school in Bukoviq. And I’m exhausted!
USAID gives money to schools throughout the country to foster activities to promote better understanding among various ethnic groups in the country. Jeta and I found out about this about a month ago and were informed our “district” received funds for an activity. We forgot all about it since we are only a satellite school and get nothing nor do we generally have any input. Most everything we get is donated by parents.
Unbeknownst to us, Bukurie was planning an outing with school students from Kavadarci. At the last minute she called and wanted to include me with the students. Jeta and I discussed it and decided it might be worth it. They were taking these students sight seeing. So I went out and waited for them to pick me up. Surprise, surprise! Four of my students who were absent today were included in the activities: Shkelqim, Jetmire, Sara, and Hanina–so they had a good excuse for their absences.
So first stop: Mosque in Saraj. Didn’t understand a word they said except that it is very old and very simple inside. We all took off our shoes and went inside. As visitors we didn’t need to do the ritual washing of our hands and faces (three times, in case you are interested), but we did need to remove the shoes. Interestingly enough the carpet throughout is woven in rectangles to be individual prayer spots. I haven’t seen that before.
Second Stop: Matka. Walk all the way up, tour the little church and head back down. No time to enjoy the scenery or anything. Of course, no one walks very fast here. I had a wonderful time visiting with Sara and Hanina on the walk. Both are delightful, intelligent girls.
Third Stop: Lake Treska. We parked buses and some of us went for “coffee” and the kids took off to do something–not sure what. (What do kids do when we aren’t looking?) I still wasn’t sure what the agenda was. Turned out that we were having lunch there…..at 3.30 in the afternoon. Lunch was more like dinner but that is in keeping with Macedonian tradition. Chicken, beef, rice, potatoes, salad, bread, some kind of dessert and juice. They brought in tables, chairs and plated food! The kids all got burgers and chips.
Finally, after a leisurely afternoon of visiting with colleagues from Bukoviq and Kavadarci, I was delivered to my front door step. First words out of Nazifete’s mouth? Ha buke? (Do you want to eat?) Good heavens, no! I’m stuffed. So I sat outside and let my feet cool down from all the walking and sang B I N G O with Elsa about 20 times. It’s so nice to be home!
While waiting for my ride I got a chance to get a better picture of Josh’s thistle and my poppy. The thistle is taller than I am!