|Photo by jotomolo|
How could your day NOT be off to a fabulous start when you are gently and silently awoken by the beautiful beams of liquid delight streaming in through your window? I have such a deeper appreciation for the sun than I did as a child, as it is pretty much sunny all the time in Montana. Even when it is so cold that your nostrils freeze shut, the sun is still glaring off the snow in an attempt to blind you with joy. I didn’t realize how much the sun or lack thereof affected me until I spent 5 years in Seattle and went for sometimes weeks and weeks straight under the grey could of DOOM. I would find myself having total emotional breakdowns and spending a thousand dollars to go to Sedona by myself for one weekend just so I could have spa treatments in the sun for three days and regain my sanity. Finally, my doc tested my Vitamin D levels and discovered that I was 50% deficient, and I was educated on the massive effects that this deficiency can have on one’s existence.
Speaking of which, there was a thick, cold, grey blanket of fog over Negotino (and other places I’m sure) for over a week, and it nearly killed me. Everyone seems to be aware of my ‘dark period’ now, and from the feedback I’ve gotten, I now know that I’m not the only one that has been struggling on and off. *Thank you, this makes me feel a lot better* :) I have requested more sufficient Vitamin D from Dr. Darko, you may want to consider doing the same. The day that the sun finally appeared in Negotino, I was overcome with joy and pretty much skipped out of my apartment and had an idealist fantasy that winter was over and the sun was going to greet me everyday until December came again. It lasted for about 5 days, and now we are back to the grey, cold, snowy business. Needless to say, I have been doing a lot of sleeping and watching TED talks and seeking inspiration from every source possible.
On the work side, things are great. We’re preparing for the wine festival, St. Trifun, and for the upcoming travels in relation to the grant. Slovenia is first on the list, in March! I hear its beautiful, so that is exciting. I’ve met with a couple of the local NGOs, and it looks like a couple of interesting projects are going to come from that, and the highlight of my week is meeting with my GLOW girls and planning for the art class. Meanwhile, I still fantasize about Mexican food, sushi, avocadoes, and real chai.
Last week, Austin and I attended Vodici, the annual cross-throwing event at the river Vardar. This event happens in every community in the biggest body of water, and is similar to our Polar Bear clubs, but for a purpose. Nearly the whole town turned out to watch, and the priest performed a blessing on the cross and the river, and then chucked the cross with some sort of plant/herb bunch tied to it. I was expecting many more people to be swimming, but about 15 men jumped in the water after it. Go up to my ‘other joyous links’ tab and you will see all the pictures. The guy that gets the cross gets to ask all the town people for money and is blessed for the coming year.
|Kristin and the amazing Fleetwood in back|
This Saturday, one of my best friends will be celebrating her 28th birthday, so I wanted to give her a public shout-out of love and appreciation. Kristin, you are a magnificently beautiful human. Your honesty can be sharp at times, but it is always appreciated. You are an amazing friend, provide endless love to those close to you, and have been there for me in any and every situation since the day I met you. I feel incredibly blessed to know you, to have gotten to live with you, be a part of your life, and to be one of the few that gain entry into the ‘Kristin circle’. You have perfected the mixture of caring compassion and rationalism and I am forever grateful for you. I love you so much, and miss you and your sweet Scooby-Doo boxers. I hope you have a beautiful birthday weekend :)