My Christmas lasted for longer than usual this year (thanks in part to the smog clouding Skopje, and preventing flights carrying packages sent from the U.S. from landing), as presents and cards sent by my friends and family months ago have only now begun to arrive. Each day brings a new surprise in the mail, and the best parts of these surprises are the pictures and updates that I get to see…little reminders of my life in back home.
I discovered the magnet of Portland in my luggage, which I had completely forgotten that I had packed. It was nice to find a piece of the Pacific Northwest in Macedonia! I love seeing photos of my little niece and nephew on my brother and sister-in-law’s Christmas card – this is one of those cases when hard copy trumps Facebook. My dad and stepmom also sent me the traditional King family Christmas newsletter. It’s comforting to have a little piece of my family’s celebrations at my new home.
The picture of the street was taken on my way to an Albanian tutoring session. There were some men working on the other side of the street who looked at me as though I had just broken into a song and dance in the middle of the street while I was taking the picture. I don’t know if was because I was American or because I was taking a photo…it will likely remain a mystery.
I became friends with relatives of my host family shortly after arriving in Diber. All of the daughters in the family are artistically talented, and I had the chance to put my rusty drawing skills to work with the youngest daughter. She is only about 7 years old, but her drawing of the bouquet is beautiful!
On a separate note, someone else got locked in the bathroom at work yesterday. I think we need to install an emergency buzzer in there for all the souls unfortunate enough to have to use it…