An afternoon in Ohrid

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reflections on a new year

Good Morning, everyone! It's a snowy day in Gostivar today, but yesterday it was beautiful, warm and sunny (Moti eshte bukur, ngrohte dhe me diell). Jane and I took a walk up to the Turkish baths, above, and then walked up a small hill to get a view of Gostivar.
This is a small orthodox monastery church on the way - it was so cute I had to take a picture.
Jane is a fabulous photograther, and I caught a quick one of her taking a picture. You can see how pretty a day it is. This is looking towards a small village that's part of the Gostivar municipality.
Thought you'd also like to see how the city park gets mowed! Below is a movie that scans Gostivar and will give you a feel of the valley and the city. At the beginning you can hear the call to prayer. I got just the very end of it. When they started, we had quite the serenade. There are numerous mosques in the city, and during a call we are serenaded by the voices of several muezzins. I only caught the tail end of the last one. It's a comforting sound and overlays the background buzz of the city. As you can see by the end, I'm just learning how to use my camera!!! But all this has started me reflecting on technology and what moving to Macedonia has taught me.

I now use Skype all the time, and just finished an episode of Mad Men, season 3, that I streamed from Surfthechannel. I bought a printer but the software that came with it didn't work with my MacBook, so I had to download the right drivers and change the default setting in my system preferences. When I got wifi, I also had to set the right connection so it automatically came up. I'm using my printer to scan in things and send them to the Peace Corps office. I'm also using Facebook like never before and have uploaded pictures on that. All of this is a piece of cake for younger users, but for me, every day has had its technological triumphs! Seems funny that I had to come here to be confronted with these things, but it makes me feel so pleased whenever I figure anything out! Now I knew there would be challenges in figuring out new languages and a new culture, but I hadn't imagined there would be these as well. It's all part of the fun.

Udi, you asked about what I get on TV. I do get CNN International and BBC news, and I've even watched some football games on ESPN. There's a Hallmark channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and a number of others that are familiar. It's especially nice to be able to keep up with the news - I've felt so out of what is happening.

I didn't get any pictures of the square when the booths were up selling Christmas lights and Santas. People do put up some lights and decorate, but it's more for New Year's, which I think is when Santa comes, than for their Christmas, so they were all taken down on New Year's Eve. Santa is something that's come in with Western Culture and is a fairly new phenomenom. I was surprised in my Islamic host family's house to see a picture of their son on Santa's lap. Having the celebration on New Year's divorces Santa from any religious affiliation.

Enough for today. I do hope the video works for you!


  1. Ya, the video worked. Way to go girl!

  2. nice pics candy...i think i'll steal your idea to do a video of debar. my counterpart told me we have 7 mosques here, and i love walking when they do call to prayer. so beautiful.

  3. The video is great. I love how it starts with the call to prayer. So glad the package finally made it!