History Lessons

The more I learn about the Balkans, the more I want to know. These people are passionate and beautiful. It is also an area which has been torn apart by multiple wars and is now living in peace but what a terrible history they have had. I ran across a video (thanks WCH) which attempts to explain what has happened and why. It is truly informative. Set aside about an hour to watch it.

The tensions are always present, however. The Skopje bus company has installed electronic signs at the stops to let you know when the busses should arrive. Unfortunately they only are using Macedonian and not Shqip and we are hearing about it almost daily on the news.

Many of the street signs are in Macedonian, English and Shqip.  In the Macedonian areas of Skopje, the Shqip translation has been spray painted over with black paint. So in the Albanian areas of the city, the Macedonian has been painted over with blue paint.  I don’t know the significance of the two colors –maybe it was all they could find!

However, I have not seen any physical hostility in my area of the country. Everything is quiet and peaceful here. The worst thing that might happen to you is then when you step outside the gate you might step into either sheep or cow dung. Yes, it is very rural and pastoral and that suits me just fine!


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A 60 something woman who has run off to faraway places with the Peace Corps.

4 thoughts on “History Lessons”

  1. Interesting video. Does provide a perspective for understanding. Hopefully one of these years the people of the region will find acceptance and respect for each other

  2. I wonder if all the other packages you never received are hidden away at the package office.

  3. That was a quite a video. It gave some great information on the conflict. My close friend Brigitta immigrated from Yugoslavia when she was 8 years old.

    I’m glad things are peaceful where you are. I hope they remain so.

  4. Cyn,
    Thank you for making contact again. I received your acceptance of my Google+ circle; but, alas, I don’t really use that. Facebook and email are my means of communicating electronically.
    I just found these two latest posts from November. I plan to save the hour you suggested to watch the video. I’ve read two books on the wars in the Balkans since 1990 and, as you point out, what an agonizing struggle for all.
    I was called for an interview with the PC Placement Office. The interviewer did a wonderful job of getting at precisely what she wanted to know in a very pleasant way. We finished after 2 1/2 hours. She set out for me the timeline from here: know by March 1; if invited, departure by September 13, 2016. As Vatche had suggested, I am taking advantage of all the time between now and September 1 to do the things with the people in the places that are important to me – great advice. I realized once I got into that mindset that we should live our entire lives as though we had to behave this way.

    I”m moving on now to your most recent post from November I continue to wish you success, excitement, and good health as you take advantage of your remaining time. All the Best, Ted

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