Friday, September 30, 2016

Lakocerej Village Life Series Year Two

          Alright for the second year in a row here are the photos from the Lakocerej Village Series. Again, I've focused on highlighting the activities and people at my work, home and in the village. Enjoy. 

Here on the first day of school one of the homeroom teachers is distributing the books to the students for the year. The man in the corner is Naymche, our quick witted handyman.
Day two.  For two days it had rained heavily in the valley. We had a little bit of flooding but it was much needed for the upcoming harvest.  For myself, the smell of fresh rain and the sight of the sun peaking out from the clouds is never under appreciated.
 We had these little guys for over a month but early in September they finally opened their eyes. So that morning my host mother and I took them outside to see the sun, and feel the grass, for the first time. 
Day four.  For my commute to Ohrid, or just around the village, I usually have to follow a tractor. 
Day five. The house across from the school had made great progress over the summer. They added a roof, doors and windows. It's unique that they're working to complete the house, since Macedonian law doesn't tax you if your house is unfinished. 
Day six. It  rained all day but the gardens, produce and farmers didn't mind one bit.
Day seven.  A few of the students from each grade presented to the school about Macedonia's Independence Day. (Which was the following day).
Day eight. The weather takes a rare pause. However, it wasn't a thunderstorm just calm, consistent rain. 
Day nine. The dreaded "red books" are what the teachers have to fill out for when the Ministry of Education inspectors come to school. If anything is not in order or if their writing is messy, the teachers can be fined up to 1,000Euros.
Day ten. Girls vs Boys Battle Royal. 
Day eleven. When it's blackberry season you have a fresh snack.
Day twelve. The grapes were ready to be harvested and processed so the wine and rakia could be made.
Day thirteen.  Mama kept a sharp lookout. 
Day fourteen. Focused students know fun games happen at the end of class.
Day fifteen.  This abandoned home, shot from opposite angles, shows the sad truth that my village, and many in Macedonia, is dying as people leave for jobs in the cities or abroad. 
Day sixteen. Thanks to the Darien Book Aid's assistance, my ninth graders picked out their weekend book, or comic, to read! 
Day seventeen.  It was Saturday morning when I took this and that meant the garage roof needed to be torn down at 7am. 
Day eighteen.  For the first two weeks of school the kindergartners were brought to school by their parents, who then stayed in the school lobby waiting for their child's two hours of classes to finish. 
Day nineteen. The roof was coming along nicely but I was curious to see how they would line it before putting the tiles on. 
Day twenty, the construction continues.
Day twenty-one. We practiced spelling with a bit of hopscotch. The best part was seeing the students that struggle writing the words, spell them with ease kinetically.
Day twenty-two. Some of my students had been asking to take a selfie for months and on that day I finally cracked.
Day twenty three. My host brother, Petar, enjoys his Friday night playing with one of the cats. (He's quite fond of them and always pets them nicely). 
Day twenty four.  Less than a week after starting construction the garage roof was finished.  However, it wasn't lined with anything over the supports and under the tiles. 
Day twenty five.  At the end of September it was time for the harvest of Lakocerej's main crop, the apple. (This was only a tiny amount being prepped for transport). 
Day twenty six.  I was told to pay the toll tax or else.
Day twenty seven.  We might not have had a school mascot but the boys loved this little kitten.  (They named him Marko).  
Day twenty eight.  Here some of the kids took a break from drawing and writing outside and pose for the picture.

Day twenty nine.  After finishing the afternoon shift this was my view on the way home. (Yes, it's unedited and unfiltered). 
Here is the thirtieth and last picture.   The 9th graders and 8th graders played a spirited game of football, soccer, during their breakfast break.

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