We finally got to help Jess work on her playground project yesterday! She has been trying to work on it for a long time, and mother nature has been smiting her hardcore. The day also began with a ridiculous amount of rain… seriously the most waterfall-like my path has been since I got here… so we thought we had been foiled again. Turns out the afternoon proved to be lovely, and the engineer decided that a drain needed to be put in before the cement could be laid. So a few of us cruised up the hill to the high school to help. We were given 2 pickaxes, 2 shovels and a drain pipe. Luckily the man in the tall rubber boots had pity on us and began the ripping up of the concrete so we could dig the trench to bury the drainage pipe. Our first physical labor since joining the PC, joy! Maggie has all the pictures, though many of them look like all I was doing was staring… we had to take turns with our limited tools! After we successfully drained a silly amount of water off the playground and buried the pipe, we got to learn how to mix cement minus a cement mixer so we could seal it and start laying it over the rest of the area. This is a mnogoo (very) long process, so we definitely couldn’t finish the whole thing today. We finished the day hoping that someone would come unlock the room that holds the extension cord for our cement mixer for the next day.
Day two they started early in the morning and had the cord for the cement mixer, but then the fan belt came off so they didn’t have the mixer for a couple of hours. The rest of us arrived after language class to help. Here is where I talk about my first taste of Macedonian gender “roles”. None of us females could operate a shovel, pickaxe, wheelbarrow, the cement mixer or even carry rebar for more than one minute without some random male who didn’t even seem to be part of the original project coming and snatching away whichever tool and taking over whatever task himself and telling us to “odmor” (relax). My irritation was quickly visible and Jess laughed and said to get ready for 2 years of that in pretty much every setting, not just building things. This should be a very interesting challenge to my personality.
On the music front, after obtaining a boatload of new and delicious music from Talisman as well as my lovely PST buddy Jason, I made the apparently unforgivable mistake of moving some (turns out most) of my music around on my computer in an effort to be the anally-organized self that I am. This resulted in my iTunes not being able to ‘find’ most of my music and my having to go through and relocate nearly every file to rematch it to its iTunes counterpart. Holy mother of 20 hours of clicking. The good thing about this is that I took the opportunity to get rid of any and all songs that I don’t love and cleanse thy musical library. The wonderful end result? I can now put all 5,411 songs on shuffle and not want to click ‘next’ EVER. I don’t know about some, but to me, this is a joyous event. I deeply heart good music, and lots of it. Please also note that Pandora does not work outside of the states, which will be leaving a hole in my heart… those that know my taste in music (Blake and Danielle this means you), I need you to be notifying me of music I should be obtaining during my adventure so I can keep up and not cry. Thank you :)
Last weekend Matt, Christine and I woke up at 5 am to hike up to the top of a mountain and watch the sunrise. Hiking in the dark was interesting (thank you mom for my wonderfully useful headlamp!), and once we got to the top the fog rolled right in on top of us. It was still fabulous and beautiful, though we didn’t actually get to see the sun herself, the gradual daylight mixed with the fog rolling in and out of the fingers and dips in the mountains was an amazing sight to see. The hike back down of course was an entirely new one with light and I still got some good pictures. (see here!: http://picasaweb.google.com/enger.emily/MacedoniaKratovo2#) The leaves changing to bright gold and orange around Kratovo is more beautiful by the day and I constantly pray for SUN so that we can enjoy this natural beauty to its fullest while we can. Life is good, life is beautiful, as always :)
6 days until we found out our sites… and an undetermined amount of days until I am privy to a hardcore full body massage by a yet TBD masseuse.
Peace and gratitude,