Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Free Day In Skopje

            This past Saturday we had an event in the capital, Skopje, called Field Day.  I know that conjures up memories of running around school playing the wheelbarrel race, kickball, etc but it was actually a meet and greet.  We met up with the volunteers who are already serving here in Macedonia and chatted with the ones near our host cities.  It was a much needed day of just hanging out, speaking English and throwing football.
            Afterwards we walked from the park to the city center and enjoyed a cold one at the Irish pub.  I had a Dunkel Beer and it reminded me of German Bar. I raised a glass to Mr. Song and the memories with friends in Gwangju.

The park we were at is huge and was a great place to get together. 

We had a potluck dinner and someone even made Thai food! 

This is the Macedonian flag with the famous cross in the background.  The cross is as big as the ones in the South that are randomly near the interstates. 
The Ottoman Fortress.
The wide river walkway had stake parks and soccer fields lining it.
I finally got to see the Alexander the Great statue.
It was wrapped with statues and mosaics. 
Alexander looking badass. 
Alex, Kate, Katie and I.  Alex doesn't have a blog but click here for Kate. (Girl in the red).  Katie's is here.
Across from Alexander's statue is Czar Samoil.  He's the only ruler who defeated the Byzantines and kept them at bay for years. 
            All of the these pictures show how much money the current Macedonian government is spending on creating monuments of their history.  No one knows where the money is coming from, it's cost over 270 million Euros to date, and it's extremely controversial. The Albanian minority doesn't appreciate that there are no monuments for their history.  Check out the government buildings that have been built.
I love this view. 
One of the new Parliament buildings. 
The statues are Macedonian poets, artists and musicians. 
Another great lion statue. 
In honor of German Bar and fine establishments back home. 
            Again, we hung out with the other volunteers and they shared their experiences with us.  Since I'm the first one to be in my village I talked about the city near me, Ohrid. Next week I go there for a site visit and am really looking forward to it. Until then, chow. 

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