Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fall Beauty and Thanksgiving Dinner

My home away from home.

          Hey there, it's been a while since I've written and that's because I've been focused with work, my daily routine and the perfect Fall weather we had.  I took complete advantage of the weather and hiked, ran, exercised or biked in or around the mountains all month. However, last week Winter began its march from the North and has come to stay. 

Shooting hoops between classes.
Daniella made avjar while the cats helped.  
This is a little nook underneath the church in the previous picture.  It's a great spot to chill at.
These students live in a smaller village near mine on the way to Ohrid. Every time I ride through I slow down so we can chat and high five. 
The first slava of the season. 
The key to surviving a slava is pacing yourself. Eat slowly, chat often and try not to breath in the cigarette smoke.
This is my store I made during a shopping lesson. Clearly, I wanted to have a coffee and eat breakfast.
Julia had a more diverse store. Many of the students did too.
Alright, these two brothers couldn't be more different but every now and then they have matching outfits.  
I told my coworkers that I wanted to clean off the Halloween decorations and make some Thanksgiving ones. They took the idea and owned it. 
They only wanted me to write Happy Thanksgiving. I loved their enthusiasm so I wasn't offended at all. 
          As you'll see the weather was perfect for nearly the past six weeks. People repeatedly told me that it's been the best Fall in 15 years.

Nearly everyday I was in the mountains behind my village.
I ran, exercised and was never bored with the beauty surrounding me. 
This monastery, built in honor of St. Nedela, is one I ran into. It's between my village and the Ohrid's sister city, Struga.  The word to describe being there is serene.
Here's Ohrid Valley. I've never breathed air this clean nor seen skies so clear for weeks on end.
Petar and I watched Planet Earth together and this is his mountain goat impression.  
I met up with my coworkers to listen to the school director's husband band play. (Say that 10x fast). They were good and everyone sang a bit too.
All that clean mountain air sprouted a burly mountain beard. 
I enjoy shopping and chatting with the people in the bazaar. Monday is the best day to go and I snapped this before heading in.
I teach at two schools. My main one is in my village and the second one is the Central School three miles down the road. This is my sixth grade class playing on their break.
          Obviously I enjoyed just working and getting outside but at the end of it was Thanksgiving. No matter how you spin it, it hurts being away from family.  In lieu of that there was a Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the American Corner in Struga.  I've been going to the American Corner every Tuesday for Gina's, another PCV, painting classes.  When I found out about the dinner I immediately offered to cook the turkey.  I really enjoy cooking and also made some brownies. Also, on Thanksgiving we the Ohrid area volunteers got together for our own Thanksgiving Dinner. 

No turkey can be made without basting it with butter.  
It was quite the feast and had the youth from the GLOW club and YMLP sit down together. For most of them it was their first experience with Thanksgiving. We made sure to go around the table and say what we're each thankful for.
Just like camp.  
On Thanksgiving Julia and I had a lesson on Thanksgiving and showed them how to draw their own hand turkeys.  
The next day I went to class and found this. 
The end of Fall. Winter is here and has already brought snow to the mountains. 
          All in all, it was a good month and ended well with Thanksgiving. I hope you too had a nice Thanksgiving with friends and family. 


  1. Both of my parents were born and raised in Ohrid but immigrated to Canada after they got married, which is where both me and my sister were born. I was just curious to know why you chose Macedonia as your next destination, unless of course you had no choice (I'm not quite sure how the process works exactly). Also, I was wondering what it was like for you adapting to the lifestyle in Macedonia when you first landed in the country in comparison to now.

    Recently, I've found it hard to stay away and found myself travelling back there almost every summer and since winters creeping upon us here in good old Canada I somehow stumbled across your page. Anyways I just wanted to say that it's nice seeing someone who isn't macedonian take interest in the country and willing to explore all it has to offer.

    P.S. I found it shocking that you chose to live in a selo (village) as opposed to the city.

    P.P.S. Keep the pictures coming and try visiting other villages in the area. You might want to check out Vasilica (old new years) on Jan 14 in the village of Velmej. People from all over the city gather there and celebrate by holding a concert and bbq. Oh ya...we have this weird tradition where everyone dresses up in costumes similar to our halloween.

    Cheers, Kat

    1. Zdravo Kat,

      First thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. It's nice that you are so interested in my experience. I chose Macedonia only because my first placement in Azerbaijan was cancelled at the last minute.

      As for adjusting to life here, it hasn't been difficult at all. Since I grew up in Appalachia the rhythm of life is quite similar so I feel at home. I would much rather live in a village than a city, the fact I'm so close to Ohrid is pure luck.

      It's funny that you mentioned Velmej I was talking to other Volunteers today about going to that since I didn't get a chance to last year.

      Were you here last summer?



    2. I've been there the past 4 summers. I spend most of my time in Ohrid since my parents built a house just before they left for Canada. I also spend a few days in my moms village of Sošani visiting my dedo. As for my dads village of Ramne, well it's a small village located high up in the mountains with a beautiful view of the city and it only takes an hour or so to hike up to.

      I'm just curious, what are some of your favourite things to do in Macedonia when you're not teaching?

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    4. I've never been to Ramne but I know of it. I'm sure the view is great I certainly enjoy mine in the mountains behind the lake. It's funny you ask about what I enjoy doing because that's the blog post I'm writing this week. Concisely, I enjoy reading, writing, exercising and exploring the area. Ohrid, the valley, Struga and the mountains are never boring.

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  3. Hi Logan. You have a great blog here! My name is Michelle, and I was one of the PC Blog It Home contest winners a couple years ago. I’d like to invite you to a six-week Blog Challenge I'm hosting to help PCVs “level up” their Third Goal blogs in the New Year. This is “phase one" for an online project I’m working on with the aim of helping bloggers to promote cross-cultural understanding. I'd be honored if you would visit my new site:, watch the video (or read the transcript if loading videos is a challenge), and sign up to join the adventure in blogging. Take care and happy blogging! Michelle