Thursday, September 24, 2009
Day 5 in Cherkeze. What a time it's been! Cherkeze is a village of about 5,000, but it's a very insulated city. It's Albanian Muslim and is only about 3 kilometers Kumanova. Everyone in Cherkeze knows everyone and word travels fast. We've been made so welcome it's amazing. I have inherited quite a big family. I walk through town and kids, my 'cousins', run up to me to say "Miredita' and hug me. Further on, my 'aunt' asks me in for kafe, and I pass my 'sisters' riding around town. I went walking with the other trainees in town out in the fields, and asked a woman in traditional dress who was collecting melons and peppers if I could take her picture. She said okay, and I showed her what I took. She then gave me the melon she was carrying. I told her and her son thank you, but I didn't want to take their food, but they insisted. We took it to the house of one of the group and dove into it - yum. It was like a white watermelon, warm still from being in the field, and the most flavorful melon I've ever eaten. I think I must have gained ten pounds already. My mother feeds me like crazy - goulash, dolma (stuffed peppers), the best yoghurt I've ever had, pickled peppers and carrots, Albanian 'pita', chicken and rice (from a chicken she had killed and plucked that morning.) At night we go visiting - last night up to a madher (sister) of my dad and another volunteered, and we laughed and drank kafe and mineral water. It's amazing how much you can communicate despite knowing only a few words. They are very patient with me and take teaching us Albanian very seriously. The training is intense - with tons of homework, so figuring out when to do it is a challenge. It's hard sometime - there's very little down time and I'm tired a lot, but am adjusting and doing better staying awake in class.... I'm going to try to attach some pictures, so here goes.
Posted by Candice Wiggum at 7:04 AM