Well the holiday season has come and gone for everyone and mine is just getting started. I did have a nice Christmas hanging out with my fellow Ohrid PCV's. For most of last week I was without power because of a snowstorm that turned into an ice storm. I finally got power on NYE, which was a good thing because no one wants to dance with a smelly man.
First, take a look at the snowstorm, it's beauty and what I did without power. Honestly, it was really refreshing to not have power, a connection to the internet and TV. I read several books, played dominoes, cards and chess with my family and cooked on a wood fire stove. Almost all of my family back in TN has a fireplace or wood fire stove so I was quite comfortable working with one.
|This was the Christmas Eve sunset.|
|The snow started Sunday afternoon and didn't quit until Monday. It's quite rare for Ohrid to get snow so this was a surprise for the whole town.|
|Shoveling the driveway before the temperature dropped to -10 C, 14 F, was a great idea. It didn't get above freezing until a week later.|
|"Оган" or fire.|
|It was clear, gorgeous and cold.|
|This picture was taken just before the snowstorm started since we'd had a little bit of snow Saturday night. The castle in the background is Samuil's Castle that overlooks Ohrid.|
|My host father and I threw down on some chess.|
|Since it was -18 to -20 degrees C, or 0 degree F, the crowds were a bit smaller for NYE in Ohrid than normal. Also, the roads here were shut down for most of the week so traveling was difficult.|
|Still there were plenty of people out and about.|
|Victoria, Alex and I|
|No that's not a ponytail that's a foot long rat tail behind Alex.|
|Yeah they're dancing on the tables. I dug it.|
|I made some friends.|
|We took full advantage of my returned electricity, made guac, nachos and watched college football. It was a great feeling seeing UT whoop up on Iowa. Butch knows how to take great talent and make them work to be better.|
Now NYE was a lot of fun but I did feel two things. First, I finally had culture shock. I haven't really felt it yet because everything looks, feels and smells so similar to home. It was when I was out talking to Serbians, Bulgarians, Croatians and the locals that I realized how culturally different we are from one another. I would speak in Macedonian for a few sentences and everyone would answer in English because they knew I was foreign and probably American. Second, I've got to find a soccer club or some sort of athletic club to meet some local people. After not playing anything for months I'm ready to get on a field again and make some friends that way.
Today is Macedonian's Christmas Eve. I really don't know what to expect but I know that there's going to be a large dinner here.
Срекна Нова Година (Happy New Years)