Friday, November 5, 2010

Site Visits!

Let me start by giving enormous props to the PC placement staff.  I feel like I got the best placement I possibly could have given my interests, personality, work style, tastes… everything.  The last couple of days were a whirlwind of fantasticalness.  My counterpart is amazing, energetic, motivated, incredibly kind and helpful.  All the young ladies I’m going to be working with are just as fabulous as well.  I met nearly every other staff member at the municipality and was greeted with enthusiastic smiles and happiness in every department.  There seems to be a great energy there, and they have a TON of project work going on, which brings me much joy…I’m really looking forward to getting to work in a few weeks. 
The town itself is beautiful, and was much warmer than I packed for.  I was told it gets to be up to 104 F in the summer.  Holy crap.  Bonus? There is a giant pool that is open in the summer, which turns into a pool party at night until 5am.  There is a ton of art going on in Negotino as well, and I met a ridiculous amount of artists in the short time I was there.  The volunteer that is there already is working with an old crafts org, whose members do beautiful wood carvings and various other things.  Wednesday night we went and sat in for part of their workshop as they were beginning some clay bust sculptures.  My counterpart was enthusiastic about my painting, and is very excited about me teaching art in my spare time and is already working on organizing a group.  I also got approached about teaching English to a group of adults, but of course won’t be doing that until I have a little more Macedonian under my belt. 
There is a small organic grocery store, a large supermarket, a gym, an esthetician, tons of art, live music, sun, a pool, and pretty much all the little not-necessary-but-highly-appreciated extras that bring me joy.  Not to mention it’s silly close to Greece, and I have some amazing fellow volunteers at my site as well as in the neighboring towns.  I got a lovely private tour of the museum, and nearly busted a tear of joy and appreciation for simply being in a place with such an active art community and being put into a position in which I get to do things that I love to do everyday, help people, do my small part to make the world better, all while in a place full of kindness, generosity and natural beauty.  My life continues to amaze me more and more everyday.  Am I so blessed because I recognize and appreciate everything that I have and it continues to come because the positive energy manifests it? Or is it because I wrote this plan for my soul before coming here and it is just panning out as it is supposed to? I would like to think its both, constantly cycling and feeding into each other… but some days I just can’t help but think its all too good to be true and it scares me. 
During the three days I had so much more going through my head, and now that I have time to sit down and write about it I feel like I can’t think of enough to say to describe how happy and excited I am about my next two years here.  The only thing missing is brown rice and wheat pasta, so if you feel the need to send me a care package, you can fill it with those two things and I would be forever grateful.  I’ll have my address at the end of November, and I LOVE mail! So even if you want to just send me a postcard with a love note that would make my whole week, trust me :) My address now is:
Peace Corps Macedonia
c/o Emily Enger
Oslo 6
1000 Skopje
The internet situation in Kratovo is still dim, so I won’t be posting anymore pictures until I get to my site and get internet to my laptop again.  Did I mention we stood the entire 2 hours on the bus from Kratovo to Skopje, as well as from Skopje to Kratovo? It was quite interesting, and am looking forward to not doing that for awhile…  for now I’m going to unpack and head to bed, I’m a tired little biatch. Life is GOOD.
With gratitude,
Emily Jo