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Pauza the peace corps macedonia magazine

Interactive edition!

fall 2013

Celebrating our

Peace Corps family Getting hitched

a peek into the culturally diverse world of wedding celebrations in Macedonia

Saying goodbye

to the MAK 16s

special edition MAK 16 yearboook

Lessons we learned at

summer camp

Happenings October November

2 Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday 7 CD VRF DUE



All Saints Day/ Сите Светци

St. Clement of Ohrid Day/ Св. Климент Охридски


11 Revolution Day/ Ден на востанието 14

Daylight Savings Time ends (US) Our families fall back an hour! 11

Columbus Day (US)


Veterans Day

21 Turkish Language Education Day/ Ден на настава на турски јазик

22 15 Kurban Bajram


Albanian Alphabet Day/ Ден на Албанската азбука

Christmas (US)



Chanukah begins

New Year’s Eve

23 Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle/ Ден на македонската револуционерна борба 27 Daylight savings time ends (MK) PCVs fall back an hour at 2AM! 31 Halloween 2 – Pauza Magazine

28 Thanksgiving Swearing In Ceremony for MAK18s

Planning an event? Tell Pauza at:

P auza

fall 2013

life and times in peace corps macedonia

pauza staff

editorial committee Goce Spasov, PC Safety & Security Jon Darrah, Acting PC Country Director Janeen Dorsch, Program & Training Officer

Hana Truscott, managing editor Sara Christopher, copy editor Rebecca Reeves, copy editor Karli-Marie Reyes-Dimovska, layout & design

editorial policy This publication, which bears the name of Peace Corps Macedonia and the Peace Corps logo, must adhere to certain editorial guidelines. These guidelines require that all content in this magazine be in good taste, politically neutral and culturally sensitive. Content should not include profanity, advocate a specific religious belief, be insulting or slanderous, compromise the safety and security of any Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV), nor give the impression that the author is writing on behalf of Peace Corps or the United States government. To ensure that these guidelines are met, a committee made up of PCVs, Peace Corps Staff and Host Country Nationals (HCNs) will review articles for content.

submissions All PCVs and Peace Corps staff are welcome to submit articles to be published in Pauza. If you are interested in writing an article, please contact a member of the editorial staff. Submission deadlines will be announced. All submissions may be sent to Articles may be edited for length and content.

cover photo:

“Brewing My First Batch of Rakija” Demir Kapija, MK By B. Aaron Weaver

Fall 2013 – 3

contents 06 07

Message from the Editor

Peace Corps Family Photos

cultural experiences 08 10 12 14 16

A New Beginning Sara Christopher Ramazan 101 Enid Moore Getting Hitched: An Albanian Wedding Carly Jerome Getting Hitched: A Macedonian Wedding Jenny Upton Getting Hitched: A Roma Wedding Jenny Upton

arts & entertainment 18 20 22 23 24

Off and Running/Reviews Paul Bonwich Daria Restaurant Review (interactive!) Austin Fast Cooking for Dedo Ariane Williams Counterpart Kitchen

Patrick Burke

Not Your Baba’s Music (interactive!) Aaron Weaver

pcv projects 26 28 30 32

Eko-Makedonija Hana Truscott GLOW Summer Camp Kelly Rupp YMLP Summer Camp Aaron Weaver Master’s International (interactive!) Hana Truscott

12 28

18 42


features: fall 2013 Hana Truscott

Balkan Blood

PCVs The Home-Stay Diaries Kelly Friedman Meet the Parents Hana Truscott Meet the New Country Director PC Staff Peace Corps Staff Interviews

34 36 40 42 44

fun and games Phil Guthrie Dear Philche

Horoscope Worth 1,000 Words Special Edition: MAK 16 Yearbook Anna Schmidt Superlatives Lew Hemmer Looking Back, Moving Forward Karli-Marie Reyes-Dimovska (interactive!) MAK 16 Mix Tape

46 48 50 52 54 56 58

Message from the

Editor Our theme for this issue is FAMILY. We certainly didn’t ask for them, and we can’t trade ’em, but out of the billions of human beings on our planet, they’re the ones who ended up as our Peace Corps family - and it’s time we honored them for putting up with us. From training host families to home-stay families, from our fellow Peace Corps Macedonia volunteers to the office staff that we’ve grown in service with, and from any and all others we have met along the way, this issue is filled with our stories of finding family here in Macedonia. Family for me has been a continuous ebb and flow of people in and out of my life. Those I consider family are most often not blood relatives, but people who inspire, invigorate and spark life in me. They are from all over the world, an everexpanding network of people whose connections transcend gender, race, ethnicity, age and borders. I’m grateful for Peace Corps as yet another opportunity to expand that network of family, even taking me closer to my Yugoslavian heritage (see Balkan Blood, page 34). In this issue you will meet the new director of Peace Corps Macedonia and her husband; bid farewell to our very own Dr. Philche with his last batch of timeless wisdom for PCVs; dine at the

6 – Pauza Magazine

new family-owned restaurant of Peace Corps driver Emir in Skopje; dance it up at a Roma, Albanian and Macedonian wedding; hike into history along the front lines of WWI and WWII to Mt. Kajmakcalan on the Macedonian/Greek border; find out what big family changes are coming up for our Peace Corps staff in the featured interview (spoiler alerts!); and take a trip into the family life of fellow PCVs, including a few tips for surviving Ramadan. On behalf of your MAK16 Pauza staff, it has been a pleasure serving you with Pauza magazine this past year. This is our last issue before we pass the magazine on to the MAK17s. It is also our first interactive issue, allowing you to interact with certain pages: see hidden content and play music, simply by mousing-over or clicking on a designated area of the interactive pages. Enjoy! And last, but not least, we have prepared a Special MAK 16 Yearbook section (see page 52) as a way to honor our fellow MAK 16 PCVs and to remember our time together. Wishing you all the best! Pozdrav,

Peace Corps “Family” Photos

Fall 2013 – 7

cultural experiences

To end the day, we all danced the пајдушко оро around the yard to celebrate the beautiful life that awaits Mila

8 – Pauza Magazine

Photos courtesy of Mila’s mother Claudia Diaz Palacios; Sara and M

ew N

cultural experiences



Tr a di ti ona l B ap t i sm/ К рштев к а C erem o ny

By Sara Christopher, MAK 16

On July 14th, a dear friend’s baby was baptized in one of Prilep’s beautiful churches. I took the earliest kombi that day from Kicevo to Prilep and arrived in town around 8:30 in the morning, eager to witness the day’s activities. This was the first Orthodox baptism I had ever been to and I was excited to see what the day would entail. I met my friend Claudia (a Chilean woman married to a Prilepchanec), her baby Mila, and the rest of her family near the church. Others in attendance included Mila’s godfather and godmother (кум and кума) and a few other members of Claudia’s very international group of friends – namely two other Americans (Terri, MAK 16, and Phebe, MAK 15) and her Scottish friend Fiona, also married to a Macedonian.

кума promised the attending priest that they would do their best to keep the child faithful to the Orthodox Church and guide their moral steps throughout life. From there, we all proceeded to the main worship area of the church in front of the altar. The godmothers and godfathers began to circle around the perimeter of the church while holding their godchildren as a younger priest sang. After three circles around the church, the babies’ garments were removed and yet another priest took each child, one at a time, and gently dipped them into a copper basin of water in front of the altar. Afterwards, the nowbaptized Mila’s кум and кума dressed her in a fancy new outfit to symbolize her new life in the Orthodox Church.

Around 9am we entered the church with several dozen other families and supporters whose children were being baptized the same day. To the left of the church entrance was a small chamber with a priest in the center, calling each child up for its individual blessing. This was where the “pre-baptism” of sorts occurred, and each baby’s designated кум and

After the church ceremony, all of Mila’s friends and family gathered at her grandparents’ house near the center of Prilep for a delicious ручек of roast lamb, salads, rakija, and a few Chilean specialties to honor both sides of her family. To end the day, we all danced the пајдушко оро around the yard to celebrate the beautiful life that awaits Mila.

Mila, Mila and Godmother, Terri and Sara at Mila’s baptism

Fall 2013 – 9


m Ramazan

cultural experiences

101 X q

tEnid Moore, MAK 16

Ramadan, known as Ramazan in the Balkans, is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. Muslims world-wide observe these 29-30 days as a month of fasting. The timing changes every year. This year it began on July 8th and ended on August 7th. Fasting is obligatory for adult Muslims, except those who are breastfeeding, diabetic, ill, menstruating, pregnant, or traveling.


ing redirects the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose is to cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Ramazan teaches Muslims how to better practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate, thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity.

~ 2

Ramazan is a time for spiritual reflection. Muslims fast daily from dawn until sunset. They refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations.  I am told the act of fast-

Ramazan is also a time for creating a sense of family unity. During Iftar, the daily meal after sundown, everyone breaks fast together. This process is repeated during Bajram, the festival at the end of the month of fasting.

Here are my tips for surviving R amazan in Macedonia


Fasting is your personal choice. Many people will not expect you to fast, so if you do they will be surprised and pleased. Even you will be surprised by who does and does not fast. If you want to try fasting, I recommend doing it at either the beginning of Ramazan or at the end, since those are the days when it is most holy (i.e. important).

Note: If you fast your first year, then you will probably be expected to fast the second year. You can make your own rules, but once you start fasting be prepared every day after that to be questioned (by everyone) whether you are fasting or not. You have been warned. 10 – Pauza Magazine

Sleep a lot! Fasting includes not eating nor drinking (which means no water), so when it is summer and 40 degrees Celsius outside, the longer you are asleep during the day the better! No one goes outside when it is that hot, except between 7pm and 5am.


Iftar (the daily meal afte is awesome. When you like the best meal in the drinking water and eatin you are invited to some are not fasting, be sure be a lot of food.


~ cultural experiences


Photo; Carly Jerome and host family on Bajram Кафе after midnight in your village is pretty cool. Ramazan in the summer means late nights out enjoying coffee and a крук (walk around) in Gostivar, Kichevo, Kumanovo, or Tetovo. Everyone tends to stay up until Safir, the last meal before sunrise when the fasting begins again. This means staying up until 3am. Keep in mind that Ramazan rotates every year, so this advice is only for the summertime.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Additional tips if you are not fasting:

Go on vacation! Hide water and snacks in your room.

If you live in Tetovo, venture to the Macedonian bars and restaurants. Go work in a summer camp somewhere – anything to get out of your village. Call up your fellow PCVs and commiserate about fasting and or not fasting.

W Egzofsh Bajramin!

Mak 17s, use these tips for next year and pass them Patience is a virtue. If you live with a Muslim home on to the 18s. stay family, people are going to be more annoying and irritable during Ramazan. If you are fasting, you will also be more irritable. To avoid shouting matches with your host siblings, I recommend deep breaths then retreating to your room and watching TV shows while feigning sleep. :)

er sundown that breaks fast) u’re fasting, it honestly seems e world. It usually begins with ng dates, however it varies. If eone’s house for Iftar and you to come hungry, as there will


-- Happy Bajram Photo by Enid Moore; Sheqer parëit translates to ‘sugar money’ & is a common Bajram dessert. Fall 2013 – 11

cultural experiences



once upon

AN ALBANIAN W Many volunteers haven’t been to a Macedonian wedding, let alone an Albanian wedding, and boy are they different. Albanian weddings can last from one to five days and the traditions vary from village to village. How we celebrate in Kamjan may be different from what they do in Pallçisht (the next village over), which will be like night and day from what they do in Kërçov (Kicevo). Here’s how one wedding could go. Five days before an Albanian wedding, the groom’s friends and family come to his house for a congratulatory misafir (na gosti). The following day, men from his side go to the bride’s house and bring her bundles of gifts including (but not limited to): a wedding dress, dimija (traditional bridal clothing), gold, high heels (yes, multiple pairs), makeup, undergarments, doilies, handcrafts, and clothing for every family member living in the bride’s home. The third night of an Albanian wedding, qeshkek, can be equated to an American bachelor party, if you add all of the bride and groom’s male family

12 – Pauza Magazine

members and subtract the strippers. Generally a Roma band is hired to play the drums, while friends and the men from the village come to dance and eat. These men also shave the groom and pour a bucket of water on him, symbolic of him becoming a man.         The fourth night of the wedding week, nata e kënës, or bride’s night, is the equivalent of an American bachelorette party, minus the phallic necklaces and male strippers. Women from both families get together to dance, eat, and do henna.    Now on to the actual wedding day… I hope you’re not tired yet, because by this point, most of the people attending the wedding are. On the morning of the fifth day, the groom’s family piles into their cars (or more accurately, the most expensive cars they can borrow) and goes to fetch their bride. The groom waits patiently at home. Upon arrival at the bride’s house, the men from the groom’s side meet up with the men from the bride’s side and do manly things, like drink coffee and smoke cigarettes.

cultural experiences

ched verse world of wedding celebrations in Macedonia By Carly Jerome, MAK 16

WEDDING The women from the groom’s family, all dressed in dimija, sing traditional bridal songs and dance valle (a traditional Albanian dance) outside of the bride’s house, while the women from the bride’s side watch and cry. When the bride is ready, she comes out of her house and is showered with hard candies from the groom’s side, symbolic of their marriage being long and sweet. The bride greets her new vjera, or mother-in-law, in traditional Turkish fashion by taking her vjera’s hand and moving it from her chin to her forehead and then back again. The groom’s family then takes all of the bride’s suitcases and waits outside the walls of the family’s property. With one close female family member on either arm, the bride (covered in a red KKK-style hood that prevents her from seeing), says goodbye to each of her family members, beginning with the oldest male member and ending with the youngest female relative. The bride gets two or three seconds with every person. Since she cannot see, the women on either side tell her who she is saying goodbye

to. The rationale behind the hood is that the bride is likely to cry and she shouldn’t be seen like that on her wedding day. This is likely the first time the bride has ever left her father’s house, and it is in fact very sad. When the bride arrives at her new home, a baby boy is put in the car with her, in hopes that her first child will be a boy. Her husband helps her out of the car as she greets his family in the traditional Turkish style. Everyone who greets her will give her anywhere from 100 to 1000 euros.   That night there is a banquet. While members of the groom’s family wait at the wedding hall entrance, telling the guests where to sit, the women from the groom’s family dance valle to celebrate their new bride. Once the groom and bride arrive, they take one lap around the room so everyone can see them. When they’re called for their first dance, the bride’s family usually joins in. It doesn’t matter if a bride dances a lot or a little, what’s most important is that she is serious – not smiling or talking too much. A few last notable differences about Albanian weddings are: it’s perfectly acceptable to wear your wedding dress to a different wedding if you were recently married, women generally wear promlike dresses, and unlike American weddings, the groom’s family is completely financially responsible for the wedding. 

Photos by Carly Jerome

Fall 2013 – 13

cultural experiences



once upon

A MACEDONIAN W My first Macedonian wedding was that of my coworker Anita Zarinska in June 2013. Anita invited me to partake in a variety of wedding festivities, including a party that occurs after the announcement of the engagement, a bridal shower, and the wedding itself. The wedding took place in Strumica and was an allday affair that went well into the night. I felt sorry for the bride. She had been up early in the morning and was still “oro-ing” well into the wee hours of the fol-

Photos above by Karli-Marie Reyes-Dimovska; Oro at the groom’s house, the best man arrives with the bride’s shoes, the bride kicks a glass of water on her way out of her house, Wedding ceremony in the Orthodox Church Photos right by Jenny Upton; Macedonian candy tradition, Dancing at the reception 14 – Pauza Magazine

lowing morning. A notable wedding tradition was the groom arriving at the house of the bride to pay the father to “give away” his daughter. It is customary for the father to turn down the first few offers. This bargaining may seem demeaning to those unfamiliar with it, but everyone was laughing and having a good time during it, even teasing the groom. Upon arrival at the wedding reception, I had my photo taken with the bride and groom, and these photos were available by the

cultural experiences

ched verse world of wedding celebrations in Macedonia By Jenny Upton, MAK 17

WEDDING end of the night to take home as a memento for a small price. I also experienced a custom in which the bride goes to each table at the reception and gives small bags of candy to each guest. The guests are then expected to give a small donation of 50 to 100 denari to the new couple. Anita led the dancing throughout the night, accompanied by a small brass band that played Balkan music. Anita was also given a tambourine to help keep the rhythm for the guests. One of my favorite moments was watching a group of men have a contest to see who could balance

glasses of rakija on their forehead the longest. There were moments during the celebration that reminded me of American weddings. While cutting the cake, the bride and groom tried to smudge icing on each other’s face. I was told that the person who gets the icing on the other’s face first will “rule the household.” The “bunny hop” dance was also at this wedding, but it was referred to as the “penguin dance” in Macedonian. After the wedding was over, Anita and I went to the house of her new husband’s family and participated in a few more traditional wedding customs before entering the home. Although I did not understand all of these traditions, one stood out to me: Anita’s husband hid behind the door of their new home, and Anita was told to put her leg in the door. If her husband swatted at her leg, it meant that she was allowed to come in. Luckily for Anita, her husband “swatted” her, and the evening of festivities ended as she entered her new home.

Fall 2013 – 15

cultural experiences



once upon

A ROMA WED A Roma wedding I recently attended was similar in many ways to the Macedonian wedding I was at earlier this year, most likely due to the Roma family being Macedonian Orthodox instead of Muslim. I once again participated in pre-wedding festivities and was invited to the bride’s home a few days before the wedding. This time there was a bonfire being built in the middle of the driveway, the mother-of-the-bride hosted this event, and the majority of the participants were women.

ple. A loaf of bread with a coin in it was then passed out to the guests, and the person who finds the coin in their bread will supposedly have good luck and perhaps be the next married. A 13-year-old boy found the coin in his bread, which embarrassed him a little. I hope that he is NOT the next to be married.

The wedding itself was a lot smaller, but also a lot livelier than the Macedonian wedding. My hostmother remarked that the Roma people are “full in the spirit.” This is an excellent way to describe the A Roma band was hired to play lively music, and events of the day. we spent the evening “oro-ing” around the fire. We lit newspapers with the bonfire and waved those The families of the bride and groom participated in around our feet to both keep the bad spirits away the same “giving the bride away” event prior to the and to bring good luck. Once the fire was almost out, wedding ceremony, though this one was a bit more a blanket cradling the mother-of-the-bride, the bride, rowdy. The groom arrived with his family and friends and her sister was rocked over the smoky embers. from Valandovo in a car decorated with Macedonian This is supposed to bring good luck to the new cou- flags and blaring Roma music. When he offered the

16 – Pauza Magazine

Photos by Je

cultural experiences

ched verse world of wedding celebrations in Macedonia By Jenny Upton, MAK 17

DDING father money to enter the house and take the bride, the father said no (as is custom), but the men decided they would NOT take no for an answer. They rushed into the home, including one brave man climbing through an open window, in order to take the bride to the wedding ceremony. The poor fatherof-the-bride got slightly injured in the process. If I had been unaware that this was a tradition, I probably would have been terrified! The wedding reception was in Gevgelija at a motel along the river Vardar. The band played Macedonian and Roma music as a large group danced. There wasn’t a moment where people were not dancing. I recognized many friends from Hotel Apollonia (where I work for a foundation). One friend introduced her husband as “Jean-Claude….Van Damme.” Mr. “Van Damme” and I oro-ed for a portion of the night until a traditional dance began. In this dance, the bride

and her family stood on top of chairs. As we danced around them, I did not notice a chair being pulled up next to me. Suddenly “Jean-Claude Van Damme” had lifted me onto the chair to dance with the bride’s family and her friends. Although I felt like I was going to fall and break my neck several times, “JeanClaude Van Damme” used his lightning fast kung-fu moves to catch me and put me back on the chair. I survived the dance. Many men at the reception showed off their great dancing moves so that I could experience a true Roma wedding. My favorite dancer was a young boy, about the age of six, who became my “date” for the evening. The men told the boy to follow me around, and then pantomimed dance moves from across the room for him to show off to me. While the Roma wedding was similar in many ways to the Macedonian wedding I attended, the Roma wedding definitely had louder music and more raucous dancing. The Roma songs tended to be faster, and the dancing required very quick footwork. It was exhausting just watching everyone dance. Trying to keep up with the dancing was another story. My advice for anyone attending a wedding in Macedonia… wear comfortable dancing shoes!

enny Upton; Dancing the Oro around the fire, My six-year-old ‘date,’ Bread ceremony

Fall 2013 – 17


arts & entertainment


By Paul Bonwich, MAK 16

Before I arrived in Macedonia two years ago, I was definitely not a runner. Rather, I was a person who liked running, but also enjoyed cycling and other outdoor sports. In my mind, the label of a ‘runner’ (or any other sport identifier, such as a ‘rower’) indicates that running is the only sport you want to do and everything else is cross-training or some kind of temporary distraction from running. There’s a certain level of seriousness involved, but at the same time being a runner doesn’t necessarily mean you’re competitive or seeking lofty goals. You simply love running. It’s highly individualistic, and everyone has different personal reasons for why they run. When we MAK 16s spent our ‘formative’ days at Hotel Satelit during orientation week, it was great to find that several others were into running too. Somehow, despite the late-night hotel festivities, we managed to shake off the lingering effects and venture out onto the roads in the morning to get our first Macedonian experience with angry dogs and crazy local drivers. It almost brings a tear to my eye now to think how innocent and new it was! These days it’s a bit of a rolereversal, since now I’m generally inclined to be more angry and aggressive than the dogs (unless it’s a large group, then all bets are off), and I have no hesitation whatsoever in telling drivers what I think after any closecalls. Regardless, after that first week in Kumanovo, the interest in running amongst the MAK 16s only increased, and I have to give major credit to Faron and Mary for setting the example as the first marathon runners of our group. While helping out at “The Dig” in Bylazora last summer, Faron casually mentioned a cool-sounding marathon in Istanbul, so I thought “why not?” A few months later I was a marathon runner too. This May, I was part of the huge PCV group (go MAK

17s!) at the Skopje Marathon for the half-marathon and 5K races. Both before and after that, I did a lot of running. Eventually, all the miles on the road took a toll, and I’ve fought through various injuries this year along with the accompanying frustrations. I’ve even been injured when I was specifically trying to avoid injury by running on softer surfaces. Yet despite these challenges, I never doubted that I’d get through it and would be back to running as before.

Now that COS is rapidly approaching, I realize how important running has been to my overall experience in Macedonia. As many of you may know, I didn’t have the best luck with organizations I was assigned to work with in my community, and that didn’t change after moving sites halfway through service. In its own way, running got me through the toughest times; because it was one of the few things I could control myself. The work and dedication I put into running yielded clear results. If I didn’t succeed, I only had myself to blame. As a testament to that, the hardest month of my service was this past January. I was injured and couldn’t run, while at the same time facing uncertainty over a separate unrelated injury to my hand and lacking substantial tasks at my work site. Once my injury subsided and I was back on the roads – big surprise – I was a much happier person, even if the other challenges failed to resolve quickly. I’m not saying running fixes everything, and I’m not saying I’m not biased. But I can’t overemphasize how important it is to have that one ‘constant’ while you’re over here to weather the storms. For me, that was running, and that will continue when I return to the US. For other people, maybe that’s yoga, writing, playing the guitar, or something else. If you choose running you’ve got my support, because after all, I am a runner now.

Photo by Kaitlin Tris; Skopje half marathon & 5k 18 – Pauza Magazine

I know, it’s not likely that the first thought you have about Skopje is that it’s a great place to go running. But hiding amidst the confusing architectural wasteland lays a rather wonderful running/walking path along the Vardar River. This flat, wellpaved path runs throughout the city limits, and if you go out in the morning you will actually see a large number of fellow runners! This is a particularly unique experience in Macedonia, and it is quite refreshing if you’re used to doing hundreds of miles in solitude. Highly recommended!

ratings & recommendations

running REVIEWS




This one would have been Four Stars if running paths along the lake were better developed. Given the tourist appeal and natural beauty of the lake, it’s a missed opportunity. And someone should organize a big international triathlon by the lake, because you can’t pick a better setting for it. Nevertheless, the overall ambiance is incredible, and I particularly like the run from Hotel Biser down towards the Albanian border. As you might have noticed, I’m kind of partial to running along the water. Recommended – I mean, it’s Ohrid.


Granted I’ve only run here once, before the Waste Management conference in May, but it’s nice and flat with not a whole lot of traffic. If you’re training for some kind of road race, this is probably a good place to go. If you want hills, you should probably go somewhere like, I don’t know, everywhere else in Macedonia that has hills and mountains.

arts & entertainment BEROVO My only experience running here was during COS conference at the Aurora Hotel, and I wish I could have stayed longer! Not just for the sweet hotel and pool. Here, I found there are actually some benefits to weak infrastructure. There is an asphalt road leading from the hotel all the way to the Bulgarian border, but there is no border post so the road just ends abruptly. As a result, the 11km road is devoid of traffic and is quite scenic due to the surrounding mountains and nearby Lake Berovo. Just avoid the turf-defending dogs halfway through and you’ll be fine. Recommended!

KOCANI This is my home base, so I can’t slam it too hard. But there is only one good running path in the city, leading to Lake Gradche about 6km north of the city center. It has a nice, steady uphill with about a 300 foot gain and great scenery, though the windy roads to the dam can make it treacherous with traffic on the weekends. The rest is just improvisation, and I spend most of my runs dodging traffic on narrow streets so I can reach the less-populated villages in the Kocansko Pole outside of town. Recommended only for the Lake Gradche run, otherwise it’s a bit of a safety hazard if you don’t know where you’re going.

Fall 2013 – 19

arts & entertainment

GOSTILNICA DARIA Restaurant Ulica Guro Gakovikj 1000 Skopje 077 932 222

“Emir’s restaurant serves up traditional food with Bosnian offeri rek and beef dumplings with yogurt (manti) spicing up the M By Austin Fast, MAK 15 “I know why you’re laughing,” says our very own Peace Corps driver Emir Dzekovic as he delivers two enormous apples piled high with whipped cream, drenched in sugary syrup and stuffed with walnuts and chocolate. Tufahija sounds distinctly naughty to English speakers when said out loud, but this Bosnian specialty hits all the right notes at Emir’s new restaurant Daria in Skopje.

matic restrooms in Skopje.

Emir’s paternal grandfather was immigrating to Turkey from Bosnia in 1903 when he stopped short in Skopje. His maternal grandpa followed suit in 1957, settling down in Katlanovo just south of the city. Honoring his Bosnian heritage, Emir’s restaurant serves up traditional food with Bosnian offerings like Bosanski burek and beef dumplings with yogurt (manti) spicing up the Macedonian menu.

For now, though, the service and friendly waiter brought our mixe Mediterranean eggplant, and ve time than it takes for some oth even notice you’ve sat down. W 100 denars, it’s easy to mix and ate a family-style feast that keep course, the 10 percent Peace C is a big perk. Just bring your M issued ID card to show the waite

“It’s more a winter restaurant,” E the interior can accommodate Daria will become known for its taurant’s central room, offering a ads sold at a steal for 100 dena

“It’s a nice relaxing place to come, and the price is right for every type of budget,” Emir tells us, and he’s right. Located just seconds from the bustling Debar Maalo kafanas, Daria is quietly hidden away on a side street with a Emir says the key to making a g beautiful terrace overlooking the Macedonian Ministry of it like home. His family plays a restaurant, right down to the n Culture. little cousin Daria who was born However, the real treat is inside with an atmosphere so After long days driving Peace C cozy you can’t help but feel you’re going na gosti instead around Macedonia, Emir logs in of dining out. Stained glass windows add unique charac- taurant everyday with his sister, ter to each of the four small dining rooms outfitted with staff making sure everything run four to five tables apiece. An antique radio from the 1930s rendered useless by a 12-year-old Emir tinkering with it “I want to stay for years and ye serves as a side table outside one of the more charis- and better every day,” Emir says 20 – Pauza Magazine

ngs like Bosanski buMacedonian menu.”

Emir explains, adding that 80 guests. He believes s salad bar inside the resa smorgasbord of 14 salars per plate.

d quality can’t be beat. Our ed salad, tavche gravche, eal with vegetables in less her Skopje restaurants to With many plates priced at match with friends to creps everyone happy. And of Corps Volunteer discount Macedonian governmenter.

good restaurant is making big part in operating the name, borrowed from his n on December 12, 2012. Corps volunteers and staff n a few hours at the resaunt, uncle and the cook ns smoothly.

arts & entertainment

Connect with Gostilnica Daria: Finding Daria From the large domed Orthodox cathedral, walk west (toward City Mall) one block on Blvd. Partizanski Odredi. Immediately after passing the Chinese restaurant with the red paper lanterns, turn right down the diagonal street. One block ahead, you’ll see Daria’s huge iron gates and carved wooden archway on the left, just opposite the Ministry of Culture. You can also search “Gostilnica Daria” on Facebook or ring them at 077 932 222.

Sample Menu Prices Mixed salad – 100 denars Tavche gravche – 100 denars Mediterranean eggplant – 100 denars Veal with vegetables in a clay pot – 260 denars Skopsko – 80 denars Staropramen – 105 denars Schweppes – 70 denars Photos by Austin Fast and Courtesy of Gostilnica Daria Mouse-over images for a closer look

ears and to make it better s. Fall 2013 – 21


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By Ariane Williams, MAK 17

This belongs in a museum! A museum called my mouth.

It was December. I had just gotten to site, and my new baba was leaving for a month-long trip to her nephew’s wedding in Australia. This left me with Dedo— who has very firm ideas about the roles of men and women in terms of household chores—and no idea who was going to do the cooking. Baba looked from Dedo to me. He was understandably grumpy because she was leaving him with a strange American to feed and maintain. I am about as good at hiding my emotions as your average Labrador retriever, so I’m sure my panic was visible in my eyes, although I endeavored not to whine. “You’ll find food!” she said encouragingly. Dedo had never wielded a ladle with culinary intent. In different circumstances I am perfectly capable of cooking for myself and others, but didn’t have much faith that I could match Dedo’s particular preferences. So there we were, Dedo and I, on our own for weeks and living more or less off of store-bought bread and ham, which for poor Dedo, raised on homemade

bread, was the death of a thousand cuts. There are no restaurants in our village. The day I found peanut butter I felt like Indiana Jones with that golden idol. “This belongs in a museum! A museum called my mouth.” I finally decided. I don’t care if Dedo thinks I will poison us and the neighbors and probably the water table. I am going to cook something. Pasta al puttanesca. It’s easy and quick. I learned how to make it from my aunt when I was a kid. She told me that the name was a reference to putti, the little cherub-guys you see in Baroque paintings. It’s actually from puttana, Italian for prostitute, either a cynical comment on how “easy” it is or because ladies used to make it to tempt customers. I prefer the latter, ”Come for the grub, stay for the love!” Dedo met my resolve with grudging agreement. He assumed it would be an epic disaster. Despite his own proud ignorance of women’s matters, he hung around the kitchen as I collected my ingredients and

Pasta al Puttanesca

“Come for the grub, stay for the love!” • • • • •

Garlic Olive oil Fresh parsley or basil if available, if not, whatever’s in the cabinet that’s green and smells delicious Kalamata olives, and keep the brine An onion

• • • • •

A big can of whole peeled tomatoes A couple of anchovies, or anchovy paste—it won’t taste fishy, it just adds tasty salty goodness Dried spicy chilis Capers—and keep the brine Peppers

1. Dice garlic very finely, and two anchovies if you’re using whole ones, and chop the onion. You can start toasting the garlic dry in the pan on low heat and watch it carefully because it’s easy to burn. If you prefer, you can just start sautéing it in olive oil. 2. When it’s nice and brown, add oil and add chopped onions. Sautee until the onions are cooked but still crunchy—not all limp and hopeless. Add chilis and the olives with just a bit of brine to get the flavors mixing, and then add the tomatoes. Add a half a jar of olives. 3. While it’s simmering, wash and chop your fresh basil or parsley. 4. When it’s simmered for ten minutes and it’s cooked down, add a quarter cup of brine from the olives and/or capers—to taste. Simmer until the brine mixes in and gets warm but doesn’t completely cook off. You may also want to add salt and fresh black pepper. 5. Remove from heat; add olive oil. What I love about this pasta is the kick of the brine with the olive oil and the garlic. 6. Pour it over spaghetti al dente, garnish it with fresh basil, serve and enjoy!

22 – Pauza Magazine

arts & entertainment started the water boiling. “That’s too much water,” he said. “That’s how I make it. Can you get onions?” “Too much water,” he repeated. “Americans make it this way,” I replied and asked for onions and garlic. I didn’t know where they were kept, or I would have gone myself. Instead we both stood watching the water come to a boil, which, thanks to the magic of woodstoves, didn’t take long. “Wait!” said Dedo, grabbing the water pot. He took it to the sink and dumped about half of it out. “Good.” I sighed and dropped in the pasta. “You have to watch the pot,” he said. “I will.” “Or it will burn.” “I know.” He drew up a stool and sat in front of the stove. “Dedo,” I said instead. “Please. I need onions and garlic. I can get them.” Reluctantly, he stood up and went to get the vegetables. He kept his eyes on the pot as he left, as if it was just waiting for him to turn his back before it boiled the whole house into rubble. By the time he got back, the spaghetti was, in my estimation, done, which meant that it was slightly al dente. Dedo disagreed. “It’s not done yet!” he cried, and “Bah!” and “You don’t know about it!” along with a lot of other stuff I didn’t understand. My patience ended. “Dedo," I half-screamed. “I am cooking.”

I would have expected him to get pissed off at me for losing my temper, but instead, and to his credit, he ceded the point and stopped interfering. Of course, by this time the spaghetti had the consistency of mealworms, so he’d won. “You know,” I said to lighten the mood as I drained the mushy pasta, “The Italians say that you know pasta is ready when you throw it against the wall and it stays there.” (About half this sentence was gesture.) “Bah! The Italians! What do the Italians know about spaghetti!” I finished the sauce and started bringing things to the table. We sat down to eat. I watched while Dedo took his first bite, chewed, and swallowed. “Not salty enough,” he proclaimed. He was right - not having capers and anchovy paste really threw things off. “Americans don’t like that much salt on their food,” I returned loftily. We ate in silence for a few minutes. Every couple of bites, he would sprinkle more salt on his pasta. “So…do you like it?” “It’s not bad.” “Thanks.” “I won’t cook again.” “Yes.” “You know, in Macedonia, we just put ketchup on our spaghetti.” es, rice, stripped carrots, cucumbers, and soy. It is cooked and then cooled. Stuffing is a very delicate process.


kitchen By Patrick Burke, Mak 17

Macedonians love to cook and I love to eat. I have eaten ajvar, burek, and chorba, and have enjoyed them all. Last winter, I decided it was time for me to prepare a Macedonian dish. My counterpart was the best person to assist me, so we made сарма.

First, you need a leaf without large stems. If it’s too small, you cannot close it, and if it is too big then it gets a bit difficult to seal. Second, when you roll it together, you need to fold the end of the leaf into thе “flap”. Then squeeze it shut - if it’s too big, it won’t squeeze shut and will reopen and if it’s too small, you have to start over with a different leaf. If it is too big, just bite the extra piece off and keep going. We ended with a total of 100 small сарма rolls. They were delicious. It was strange being the only male among the women. At home, my host mother watches me as I cook and ensures that I do not burn the house down. We share meals and I have successfully gained her trust. I have done the same with my counterpart. Just by taking the chance to experience Macedonian food, I have built stronger relationships.

Сарма is a grape or cabbage leaf stuffed with meat/soy, carrots , and rice. Сарма is a seasonal dish. In winter months, it is prepared with soy in- My next cooking challenge is preparing stead of meat because of religious observance. ajvar. I will share my success with you. We gathered around the table and prepared the stuffing. The stuffing consists of Macedonian spicFall 2013 – 23

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Your Baba’s


By Aaron Weaver, MAK 16 with help from Rock Gate and Mihajlo Moteski When I say “Macedonian Music” what comes to mind? Is it some of the classic Narodna Musica from the likes of Dragan Dautovski? Or is it some high octane turbo folk with more vibrato than a drunk Andrea Bocelli? Maybe you’ve even heard of the Superhiks. If any of these are your perceptions of Macedonian music, then from this moment on, forget all you know. This isn’t going to be your Baba’s music. It is rather unfortunate that this is our general perception of Macedonian music. For if you traverse the musical landscape of this diverse and picturesque country you will find a surprising number of equally diverse bands well worth their salt. My goal in writing this isn’t to lay out a history of Macedonian rock, pop, or any other genre. And yet, much like current events, it’s impossible to examine music in a vacuum. It’s something that evolves from our very basic human desire to be heard and understood. In order to achieve this we look at how those before us have used the medium and some, those rare few, breach the barriers of custom and technology to create an entirely new sound. In the case of Macedonia, its Yugoslav heritage largely determined how and why rock developed the way it did. As in any political, social, or economic system, Yugoslavia proved fertile soil for the social declamations that characterize Macedonian rock. But the influence of the British and American behemoths cannot be ignored. Rather, my goal here is to simply provide you with some of the major bands in the genre with a brief description of their music, the cultural influences at the time and one or two of their most iconic songs. So without further ado, here’s my list. Spend your autumn rocking to the sounds of Macedonia. 24 – Pauza Magazine

To learn more about each band

Bis Bez Republica 903 Triangl Trn Vo Oko Leb i Sol Fol Jazik Leva Patika

(also known as Pu)

arts & entertainment

Bis Bez Founded in 1964 by a group of college guys, Bis Bez is actually a combination of two bands: Biseri, and Bezimeni who then combined their names to create Bis-Bez. The band’s sound is unmistakably Beatlesesque. Listen to Дал да Плачам ил да Пеам (Should I cry or should I sing). The guitar at the beginning provides a great intro while the drummer lays down cheesy rock beat number one. Then at 1:17 the rhythm changes and you get a nice distorted guitar solo. Bands like Foolish Green owe a debt of gratitude to these grandfathers of Macedonian rock.

Watch online now!

d, click on their image below...



String Forces

Patot na Vizantija

The Suns

Bernays Propoganda

Telonauka Sovrsena Mizar Konkord Sanatorium

Last Expedition

Foolish Green

Memorija TB Traceri Foltin Verka

The John Parketi Superhiks

pcv projects



By Hana Truscott, MAK 16

Last month eight brave souls accompanied me on a twenty-kilometer roundtrip hike to Mt. Kajmakcalan, located deep in the Nidze mountain range in the Municipality of Novaci where I live and work. Along the summit of the mountain range runs the border between Macedonia and Greece. After a grueling three-hour jeep ride from my village up steep hiking trails, six of us PCVs and 3 HCNs began the scenic hike up through front lines of world wars to a memorial commemorating fallen soldiers. We began our hike under a blue, cloudless sky, but as we approached the summit, a biting wind and temperature so-cold-we-could-see-our-breath snuck up on us. Serbian military forces first constructed a monument on this peak during WWI, gathering the remains of their dead soldiers from the surrounding hillsides for a burial. The monument was converted into a church in 1921, with a crypt below it that still houses the bones of the fallen soldiers. We slid open the trap door to the crypt and climbed down a ladder into the dark tomb to escape the howling winds and biting cold. Sure enough, there were the bones of soldiers somberly laid to rest in piles along the walls. There were so many soldiers that died or went missing along these front lines in WWI that more than 20 years later, after WWII, shepherds continued to

find the skulls and other bones of WWI soldiers while grazing their sheep. Mt. Kajmakcalan continues to be a pilgrimage site for Serbians. After a three hour jeep ride and nearly a three hour hike up to the summit without seeing another hiker, we ran into over thirty Serbian pilgrims on the summit. They had hiked up from the Greek side of the mountain to pay their respects. For the Macedonians who accompanied us on the hike, their interest in Mt. Kajmakcalan comes from the legend of Rudolph Archibald Rice (“Dr. Rice”), who requested upon his death in 1928, to have his heart wrapped in gold and placed in an urn in the church of St Peter on Mt. Kajmakcalan. We saw the marble urn still at rest inside the church, but the heart is said to be long gone, disappearing perhaps during WWII’s Bulgarian occupation of Macedonia. I was interested in doing this hike from the time I first moved to site two years ago. It finally happened thanks to the Young Citizen’s Action (MГА), a Civil Society Organization founded recently by my boyfriend Igorche and his colleague Blagojce. Their mission is to create civil capacity of the young (twenties/ thirties) people of Novaci, mobilizing them through trainings and projects that will make their community a better place.

Photos by Blagojce Nikolovski; Hike to Mt. Kajmakchalan

26 – Pauza Magazine

pcv projects

UNT CALAN MГА’s projects focus on: •

protection of the environment and improvement of the ecological awareness

sustainable development and innovative technologies  

top. conservation of the cultural heritage and This pilot trip has ignited a vision of what’s possidevelopment of the rural tourism ble for MГА. It is already planning future hikes and tours to multiple destinations in our municipality. All • Better health and socialization This pilot hike was the first step in promoting rural profits from the tours will go to services/projects of tourism throughout the Municipality of Novaci, as the young citizens of Novaci. If you are interested in well as promoting better health of the young people future hikes with the Young Citizen’s Action, join its of Novaci. The three Macedonians that joined us on Facebook page HERE, where upcoming events will the hike have never done anything like this, and are be posted or email me at •

all very proud (and amazed) that they made it to the

Fall 2013 – 27

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By Kelly Rup

I can still remember the HUB day in PST when the MAK 15s presented information about GLOW. I heard “teenaged girls” and “high school” and immediately stopped listening. I do not like working with kids, especially when they are in large groups.

(the staff) did was practice a choreographed dance to perform when the campers arrived. Then we had to create a chant to sing in front of the group every day. Let me tell you, my attitude was uncharacteristically negative for the first few days.

It wasn’t until Vjosa Ramadani (president of the NGO in charge of Camp GLOW and my LCF) suggested that with my business experience I’d be perfect for the Jr. Finance Coordinator position. That was all it took for me start my two-year journey with GLOW.

But even though camp was a mental and physical challenge for me, I began to understand its value as I heard stories from counselors and other coordinators and interacted with the girls myself. The GLOW staff did such a good job creating a safe environment that girls were opening up and talking about tough subjects like Sex Ed and Domestic Violence. And other, quieter girls were starting to come out of their shells by speaking up and making friends. I taught a Self-Defense elective to 20 girls and realized that this was probably the first time these girls had ever been told they could fight back against an attacker and actually win. The girls loved my graphic

What I didn’t fully realize until I was actually at camp is that my role wasn’t completely behind the scenes. Being at camp that first year (2012) was probably the most challenging part of my entire Peace Corps experience. Why, you ask? Well, I’m not a silly, crazy, scream-and-yell type of person and dancing really isn’t my strong point. Naturally, the first thing we

28 – Pauza Magazine

pcv projects

OW CAMP 2013

pp, MAK 16

examples of poking an attacker’s eye with a thumb- Sr. Finance Coordinator and was more directly innail or kneeing him in the face after kicking him in volved in the planning process. Because I’d experithe groin. And I realized that I actually liked teaching. enced a camp, I was better able to give feedback to the other coordinators as they talked about new proHearing the girls talk about their experiences dur- gramming ideas. We also began the slow process ing the candlelight ceremony the last night was what of making the camp more sustainable by engaging really made me admire the GLOW program. I’ll nev- HCN instructors to teach classes without PCV parter forget two girls, an Albanian from Debar and a ners, and by creating a plan to gradually phase out Macedonian from Bitola, who talked about how they PCV coordinators. were “soul mates.” They said they had so much in common that they were practically the same person, By the time Camp GLOW 2013 rolled around, I was and they’d already made plans to visit each other. mentally prepared and much more passionate and (They’re still best friends, by the way, despite cul- excited about it. So let this be a lesson for those of tural barriers). Plus, I realized that three of my clos- you who are like me and want nothing to do with est friends – who I’ve always thought to be amazing youth work. Keeping camps and events running so women – were GLOW girls when they were in high that others can interact and teach is just as necesschool. sary and rewarding. And who knows, you may even be glad you stepped out of your comfort zone. After my first GLOW camp, I took over the duties of

Fall 2013 – 29

pcv projects


counselors and eight junior counselors who guided students on their journey. They led chants, ensured campers were at their designated classes, pitched tents, dried out sleeping bags, suffered bug bites, taught campers to cook over a campfire (including s’mores), and gallantly ate the ones that fell on the ground.

It’s nothing more than a small mountain hut nestled in the verdant hills outside of Tajmiste. But for one week every summer it’s transformed into a thriving community electrified by fresh ideas and new friendships. It serves as a launchpad for the lives of a group of young men destined to become leaders. It becomes The Young Men’s Leadership Project (YMLP).

Every year, YMLP has changed in ways both big and small. This year, we marked four major achievements. The first, multi-year funding, ensures that our partner organization YMCA Bitola can focus more on institutional development and less on securing funding year to year. Thanks to the Democracy Commission grants offered by the U.S. Embassy, YMLP is funded through 2014. Second, in order to provide for a structured and balanced program transfer, a five year plan was developed. Third, 2013 marked the introduction of a new Jr. Counselor training program to prepare current campers to be future counselors. Finally, this year YMLP will implement a structured after-camp mentorship program wherein partner organizations from across the country will sign agreements with YMCA offering to mentor and assist former campers who wish to carry out projects in their communities.

By Aaron Weaver, MAK 16 he rain fell in sheets as I huddled under a tree with 12 campers in a futile attempt to remain dry. My raincoat was soaked through almost immediately. Only minutes before, we had all been laughing as we navigated a low ropes course. Now, as I looked around the group I saw cold, wet, melancholy expressions. Eyes had lost their spark. And this was only the first day of camp. The weather forecast called for more rain. At that moment the next five days seemed insurmountable.

Since 2007, YMLP has sought to teach high-school aged boys how to become successful, inclusive, and active leaders in their communities. This year, fiftysix boys from across Macedonia participated. They came from different walks of life: different creeds, different ethnicities, different tongues, and from the richest neighborhoods to the poorest villages. They arrived as fifty-six individuals, confident in what separated them from their peers. They left as one, fully embodying Sargent Shriver’s mantra that, “… what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.” This transformation was the product of the tireless efforts of nine instructors. These individuals, as well as PCVs and HCNs held dynamic and thought provoking classes on topics such as social inclusion, environmental awareness, reproductive health, and of course, leadership. Just as important were eight

30 – Pauza Magazine

On that rainy day as I huddled under the tree, I saw all the careful planning and all the hours of hard work coming to naught. The next day the rain and cold continued. The camp trudged on, but only reluctantly like a hiker with one last hill left before he reaches his car. Then, on the third day, the sun broke through the clouds and shone in its full glory as the camp pulled itself out of the mud and truly began its adventure.

pcv projects

Fall 2013 – 31

pcv pcv projects projects

Master’s International By Hana Truscott, MAK 16

“[M.I.s] have the advantage of having applied theory to practice while engaging in significant development work overseas.”

Stephen Robinson

– Peace Corps Master’s International website The Peace Corps Master’s International (M.I.) program was started in 1987 as an innovative way to combine Peace Corps service with a Master’s degree. More than 80 academic institutions throughout the United States are currently participating in the program, offering a wide range of graduate programs, including education, engineering, environmental studies, information technology, peace and conflict resolution and veterinary medicine (to name a few). M.I. students receive academic credit for their Peace Corps service and most students are required to complete a thesis, significant research paper or capstone project related to their work overseas. An anthology of these final projects are shared with the greater Master’s International academic community online (see resources for M.I.’s). If you know a M.I. student who got a good grade on her/his final project, their faculty advisor can submit that project to to be considered for the online anthology. Here in Peace Corps Macedonia, we have a few batches of M.I. students in our midst. They are enrolled in graduate programs all across the nation. Mouse-over the names for a sneak peak at the programs and research they’re doing in Macedonia

Master’s International PCVs in Macedonia:

RESOURCES FOR MASTER’S NTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: M.I. PCV Facebook Group Online Anthology of M.I. Final Projects More information about the Peace Corps M.I. Program 32 – Pauza Magazine

Paul Bonwich Kelsey Nocket

pcv pcv projects projects

Lurdes Hernandez Hernandez

Mary Hulse

na Truscott ty Wimberley

Dan Rankin

Daren Kerchinske

Jenny Upton

Patrick Burke

Alastair Churchward

Sara Christopher

Fall 2013 – 33

features: fall 2013


34 – Pauza Magazine

features: fall 2013

...there’s something about the Balkans that feels like coming home. By Hana Truscott, MAK 16


’m told that I’m brave and courageous for moving away from my cushy life in the U.S. to serve in the Peace Corps under conditions of “hardship” for two years. Sometimes I even begin to believe it, catching glimpses of myself as Hana, the Adventurer.

But the more time I spend in the Balkans, the more I’m humbled by the real heroes of my family. Thanks to my Peace Corps placement in Macedonia, I’ve begun to uncover the adventures of my Balkan bloodline and the perils overcome by my Yugoslavian immigrant ancestors who paved the way for my life in the Promised Land of America. Peace Corps has planted me in the midst of a former Yugoslav community, taught me to speak a Slavic language (that has allowed me to communicate my way through multiple nations of the former Yugoslavia) and made a “far-off, mystical land” become very real. I am the first person from my family in three generations to again set foot on Balkan soil. And there’s something about the Balkans that feels like coming home. The first time I met my Pre-Service Training host family, they exclaimed, “You don’t look American! You look like one of us!” Thanks to Peace Corps Macedonia, I can feel the pulse of my Balkan blood. This past June, after 18 months of service, and great strides on my mother’s part to dig up details of our Yugoslavian heritage, we made a pilgrimage to the birthplace of my great-grandparents. Upon arrival in Mrkopalj, a small village in the Green Heart (Gorski Kotar) region of Croatia, 75 miles southwest of Zagreb, I instinctively walked into the building marked “Opstina” and struck up a conversation (in Macedonian) with the municipal staff asking if they could help us. They understood me! After a relatively short back-and-forth of Macedonian and Croatian, they gave us directions to the house of a woman with the same surname as my great-grandfather. The woman was crouched down tying her sixyear-old son’s shoe as we walked down the long driveway across from a cow pasture. I greeted

her in Macedonian as her son raced past us to go play with his friends. She eyed us tentatively. I explained the reason for our visit and after a few deliberative moments, she invited us into her house for coffee. The living room couch was cluttered with piles of clothing and blankets, so we sat at the small, kitchen table. Modest animal trophies were mounted on the dark, wooden walls. She served us small cups of unfiltered coffee. As we waited for the grounds to settle, my mom pulled out her extensive family tree and I translated as our gracious host studied it to see if we shared a connection. A few months before our trip, my mom traced our family tree back to my great (to the sixth power) grandfather, all born and buried here in the village of Mrkopalj (save for my great-grandfather Mate Susich). He was the 11th of 14 children, born to his father’s second wife, and the only one to leave Croatia. From the family tree alone I can see threads of intrigue suitable for a Turkish soap opera or box-office drama. My great-grandparents were pioneers, immigrating to the United States as teenagers. They likely never saw most of their family and friends again. My two-year Peace Corps adventure pales in comparison to such a commitment. After an hour’s worth of deliberations, our host decided that we were not related. I didn’t get to meet a long-lost relative that day, but I did get to set foot in the mountain village where 25% of my lineage comes from. Amazingly, it’s reminiscent of where my family ended up settling in Montana and Idaho. The trip also reminded me that the only reason I’m American is thanks to the immigration stories of my great and great-great-grandparents. And the only reason I’m even alive is because all the generations before me somehow survived the perils of wars, violence, and the trials of immigration. I suppose adventure is in my blood and remains in the blood of all of us descendants of immigrants. America is full of us. Unless we are Native American, we are Immigrant American somewhere back down the line.

Photos by Hana Truscott; Great-grandpa Mate & Great-grandma Mary’s U.S. citizenship document issued thirty years after immigration, Warm welcome to Croatia in with guesthouse owner, Arrival in Mrkopalj, birthplace of my maternal great-grandfather, Searching for our family name in Mrkopalj, Finding family names in Mrkopalj cemetery, Finding potential long-lost relatives in Mrkopalj, "Looking alike" with my PST host family in Kratovo Fall 2013 – 35

features: fall 2013



Hear from six PCVs as they share their expe

By Jamie Metz, M

By Harry Sargent, MAK 17

My host family includes a husban nephew. My house is beautiful. I sh room with my family. I have my ow interesting adjustment. Both you a learning how to live with one an personalities. It was challenging to family and to establish boundaries w Despite the challenges, I am truly have supported me during my succ their connections to get me to Ameri ily emergency, and have been acce language skills. They have taken m me how to cook my favorite foods. I ily, even when times were tough. I different tactics until I found someth how to be direct and how to advoca

I live in a one-story house with two bedrooms, kitchen, dining/living room and a toilet/shower combined. I live with a husband and wife who are in their mid-forties. They have two daughters; one works in Skopje And as I’m gearing up to COS, we’re and the other attends university in Skopje. I sleep in what was the hus- am so grateful and lucky. I appreciat band and wife’s bedroom. They now sleep in the other bedroom. The daughters come home for weekend visits a couple of times per month. They sleep in the kitchen on a pullout sofa. The major challenges I have are privacy and independence. The only place I can go to be alone is my bedroom. If I stay too long my hosts are knocking on the door asking if I am OK or if I need something to eat. They even expressed their concern to a PCMO about the amount of time I spend in my bedroom. My hosts, out of genuine concern, insist on knowing where I am and what I will be doing all of the time. If I am away from Kratovo overnight I will get a call from one of them asking when I am coming home. I really do not have a choice of when and what I can eat. I pay the family for food, internet and laundry; as a consequence I eat what they eat, when they eat. It has been an adjustment. The benefit of being with a host family is that I know there is always someone there if the need arises. They are concerned, caring individuals and include me in their activities. They are people I am sure I will be friends with long after I leave Macedonia. My words of wisdom to future home-stay volunteers: be prepared to alter your lifestyle, be adaptable, flexible and open-minded. It will be like living at home again for the younger ones and like living with your children for the older ones.

Photo above by Harry Sargent; My host parents in Kratovo 36 – Pauza Magazine


features: fall 2013


eriences and insights living in a home-stay

MAK 16

nd, his wife, and their 12 year old hare a bathroom, kitchen, and living wn room. Homestay families are an and the family will be continuously nother's quirks, dysfunctions, and o get into an initial rhythm with my with limited language skills.

y grateful for my host family. They cessful and failed projects, worked ica as quickly as possible for a famepting of my less than spectacular me into their family and have taught I’m glad I didn’t give up on my famfound it to be an opportunity to try hing that works. In the end, I learned ate for myself.

e all finding it hard to say goodbye. I te all their kindness and generosity.

By Laura Barbe, MAK 17 My household includes a husband and his wife. They have two daughters around my age who come home some weekends and in the summer. A baba, dedo, aunt, uncle and nephew live in the same house on a different floor. Communication was tough because my training community was primarily Albanian and my home-stay family is Macedonian. But my host family has adopted me. I am their third daughter. They’ve been really patient with me. From the moment I arrived, I was comfortable enough to talk with them in Macedonian. The house was my “language safe-zone.” And now, my host mom has a knack for knowing what I’ll understand and what I won’t and sometimes will “translate” other people’s Macedonian into Macedonian I will comprehend. She is amazing. It’s been great to have a baba and dedo. My dedo reminds me of my grandpa. Even though it gets old to hear the same three stories over and over, he considers me one of his grandchildren. My host sisters are fantastic, and I enjoy when they visit on the weekends. My favorite moments are conversing with my host parents about work, having lunch with my family and site-mate, and spontaneous karaoke with Balkan folk songs. My family is not perfect, but I have learned that problems I face need time to work themselves out. My advice to PCVs in home-stays: don’t try to immediately solve everything that’s not completely comfortable for you.

Photos left and above by Laura Barbe; My host sister & Sara at Easter, Home-stay parents Fall 2013 – 37

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Hear from six PCVs as they share their expe

Alex Dunn, MAK

I have a host mother, host father, an who is married with a three-year-ol cause my host mother cares for him

Enid Moore, MAK 16 My household includes a mother (Nona, 63), father (Abi, 65), daughter (Nexhka), granddaughters (Vlera, 13 Venera, 11, and Natyra, 4), grandsons (Joni, 2 and Ylli, 1.5) and great-grandma (Nona Tjeter, 80-something). All of them spend at least some time living in my house on a weekly basis. I live with a lot of small children, whom I love, but sometimes they can be a bit much for me. I often feel guilty about retreating to my room when I need to recharge. I do enjoy “Elmo’s World,” but I think I would lose my sanity if I had to watch it every day after a full day of teaching. Despite my retreats, I have enjoyed watching the kids grow up during my two years here. These kids have also helped me realize that I do want children of my own someday, but also that raising a child takes a lot of work. Highlights include: baking cookies, building snow forts, dancing at weddings, eating Iftar (the evening meal that breaks fast) during Ramazan, family visits from America, hiking, making baklava, my sisters picking out my outfits, swimming pool trips, teaching English, tickle monster wars, and watching Turkish soap operas. My words of advice: If you allow your home-stay family to become your family, they will love and support you. I love my home-stay family. They have loved and supported me for two years and we have experienced challenges and triumphs. I do not know how I will say good-bye to them, but I do know that without them my service would have been completely different.

Photos above and right by Enid Moore; Host family 38 – Pauza Magazine

I’m one of the volunteers who hav The adjustment process is the m homestays come with expectation family, and those expectations are o current home-stay I felt pressured to didn’t want to be standoffish, so I jus of going out at midnight and stayin don’t spend much time together an closer with my host parents. I think is navigating the many different rela of a home-stay, all of which tend to versing with my host family, experi and making ajvar, rakija, and wine.

I advise everyone living in a home-

First, familial relationships develop dynamic is pointless. Peace Corps you show up with the expectation o Those expectations can suffocate p even had a chance to grow. Give i emerge naturally, and they will be m

Second, everything can be fixed. and bad first impressions or interac real life and bad things will happen eventually overcome the obstacles and find creative solutions to every wards will be long-lasting.


features: fall 2013

eriences and insights living in a home-stay

K 17

nd host brother. I have a host sister ld son. He is often at my house bem on a daily basis.

ve switched sites and home-stays. most stressful part for me because ns from both the volunteer and the often unspoken. For example, in my o spend time with my host brother. I st went with it. But after a few nights ng out for hours, I just got tired. We nymore, but as a result I’ve gotten k the biggest challenge I have faced ationships that exist at the beginning o feel fragile. Highlights include coniencing a different familial dynamic, .

-stay to consider the following:

p slowly, and trying to force a family s homestays are awkward because of living with a family for two years. potential relationships before they’ve it time. Allow for family dynamics to more satisfying as a result.

Relationships can take a beating, ctions will be made. Peace Corps is n. Try not to lose sight that you will s. Seek out advice, try new things, yday home-stay challenges. The re-

Jessica Davidson, MAK 17  Here is a picture of my new host mom and me. We love each other. True story. My new host family has adopted me. I live with a mom, dad, baby sister, maternal/paternal grandparents and my host father’s brother and his wife.   In my previous host family, I had a lot of unique challenges. The biggest challenge was that my host mother and I had personality differences. She had an active night life and I often felt pressured to participate, which created tension. Conflicts ensued and I was eventually locked out of the main house. Luckily, this meant I now had my own apartment. Thinking positively, I hoped we would resolve our conflict. Finally, I arrived home one day and my family had moved to Germany.   Although I had difficulties with my previous host family, there were joyful moments too. They took me to a baptism on Christmas day, I went on dozens of na gostis, and the last few months I was able to spend quality time with my former host grandmother. Although she doesn’t speak any English, we enjoyed making fun of each other’s hand motions and watching soaps together. I’ll probably go back and visit occasionally. My advice is to advocate for yourself. Peace Corps is here to support you. However you might have to find a new home-stay on your own; do not be afraid to go the extra mile to seek out the best one for you. Trust me, your home-stay will have a major impact on your experience, so do not suffer unnecessarily.

Photo above by Jessica Davidson Fall 2013 – 39

features: fall 2013


Parents By Kelly Friedman, MAK 17

“I’m the grandson of Alexander the Great!” Those When I was invited to Macedonia, pretty much everywere the first of many, many words I had to translate body (my parents included) had to look up its whereabouts on the internet. Everything they read got them during my parents’ visit to Macedonia. more and more excited and my stepfather immediateMy mom then pointed out that Alexander the Great ly began planning their trip to come visit. Macedonia was never married, which doesn’t preclude the pos- went from being a complete unknown, to a familiar sibility of him having children, but did remind me that and wonderful spot that they would be happy to visit внук can also mean nephew. My host дедо’s relation again. to the Macedonian hero was the long-running joke (or My parents do not speak one lick of Macedonian was it?) of our brief respite in Probishtip. it was an effort just to get them to say “Nazdravje” Almost as soon as we arrived to the house, we were when toasting. However, you don’t have to speak the bombarded with Macedonian hospitality. We ate sal- same language to have an amazing time. Even when ad and rakija, soon followed by homemade сок and I wasn’t available (because I was passed out from тиганици. Despite not speaking the same language, translation exhaustion), my parents were able to enmy mom and host mom quickly bonded over their joy their time relaxing on the patio in a comfortable sishared dislike of soda. I also discovered that, though lence with my host family. Our stop in Probishtip was my host mom doesn’t really speak English, she un- definitely one of the most enjoyable parts of our vacaderstands quite a lot of it. You learn something new tion, because my parents got to experience what my every day. life is like here, and put faces to names and names to faces. After a couple hours of much needed rest, we took a quick jaunt through Probishtip to buy the all-important My parents were overwhelmed (in a good way) with pre-9 o’clock wine, and ran smack dab into my stu- Macedonian hospitality. There was always something dents. This provided my parents the experience of available when they weren’t resting – coffee, rakija, students who love to run up and yell hello, and then juice, salad, laundry service, more rakija. They also slink away with shy smiles on their faces. Upon return- got to witness a Macedonian wedding, as music ing home, we feasted yet again (this time on скара) started playing Sunday morning around 8:00am and and conversed in a confusing mixture of English and neighborhood kids gathered to dance in the street. Macedonian. The music was still playing when we left around noon, and we got to see the wedding cars on our way out Since I live in my training community, we were also of town. We weren’t allowed to leave, though, without able to spend the next afternoon with my training host first taking several photos in the yard. family. And happily for me, my host sister was available to translate. Here, it was more of the same won- The time we spent in Probishtip was short and full derful Macedonian hospitality - rakija, juice, and the of not only laughter, but oohs and aahs, mmms and “best tomatoes ever tasted,” as attested by my mom. yums, and, of course, јади јади! We left with hugs and And then came the relaxing: spending a lazy after- thanks all around, and invitations to return anytime. noon with food and drink and friends. 40 – Pauza Magazine

features: fall 2013

Photos by Kelly Friedman; Na gosti - me, my mom and stepdad, my training mom and sister, and their neighbor, Family in Probistip - me, my mom and stepdad with my host baba and dedo

Fall 2013 – 41

MEET THE w e n features: fall 2013

COUNTRY DIRECTOR By Hana Truscott, MAK 16 As we say our goodbyes to former Country Director Stephen Kutzy and his wife Lynn and wish them a successful transition to Peace Corps Kosovo, the Pauza staff would also like to welcome our new Country Director Kathleen Corey (who goes by “Corey”) and her husband Don. They kindly agreed to a Pauza interview so that we (the Peace Corps Macedonia family) could get to know them better. Without further ado, here’s what Corey and Don had to say to Pauza…

care deeply about “I family and giving back to the Global Community ”

Pauza: How would you describe came up with the idea of creating yourself? a publication called Passage: a Journal of Refugee Education, Corey: First, thank you to the with Don as the State-side ediPauza staff for the opportunity to tor and I as the camp editor. The do this interview. I am a person articles I edited talked about the who enjoys meeting new peo- issues refugees were facing in ple, experiencing new cultures, camps. Don edited articles about and mentoring. I care deeply issues refugees faced Stateside.  about family and giving back to When he came out to Manila, my the Global Community.  I enjoy job was to show him the refudancing, horseback riding, read- gee camps in Southeast Asia.  ing, scuba diving, skiing, and Spending three weeks together swimming. on the road visiting various refugee camps gave us a pretty good Don:  I have a lifelong interest idea of what we were both like. in other countries and cultures, having spent a good part of Don:  I heard Corey before I met my life living overseas. Other her. I was in a room in Manila interests include hiking, read- with three other people waiting ing, scuba diving, swimming, for our first meeting to launch and tennis. I am curious about the magazine that Corey meneverything. I became a writer so tioned. There was some stiffness that I would have an excuse for and tension in the room: I was pestering people with questions.  from Washington, headquarters. Then came the sound of laughPauza: How did you meet each ter down the hall, and the other other? people in the room exchanged knowing smiles. A moment later, Corey:  I was working with refu- Corey burst into the room, and gees in camps in Southeast Asia did what she does so well: she and Africa, and Don was work- put everyone at ease. ing with refugees Stateside.  We 42 – Pauza Magazine

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Corey Pauza: Where have you lived together? Corey and Don: Sri Lanka, Honduras, Argentina, Tacoma (WA), and Arlington (VA). Pauza: What is your most memorable family adventure? Corey:  This is hard to answer since we have had so many wonderful experiences overseas over the years.  I have very happy memories of taking Jessie (our daughter, who was between the ages of 2 and 4), around to visit Peace Corps Volunteers in Sri Lanka. Sleeping on cement floors with her nestled between Don and me, washing our faces with water heated over the fire and watching the sun rise over the mountains.  I also loved the week we spent getting Jessie, then 14, scuba-certified in the Bay Islands of Honduras.  We had a great time diving together.  Don:  Traveling through rural Sri Lanka with our 3-year-old daughter, while visiting Peace Corps Volunteers; missing a terrorist bomb explosion in downtown Colombo; diving in the unbelievably beautiful waters of the

features: fall 2013

“ I love knowing

that the relationships I have established and will establish through Peace Corps will be life-long

Don: I like meeting the locals and collaborating with organizations where the local needs are spending a week under house the priority. arrest;  traveling six weeks solo through Bolivia; and traveling Pauza: What are you looking forthrough western Honduras in ward to most about Macedonia? an unreconstructed American yellow school bus turned lo- Corey:  Working again with cal means of transportation.  Peace Corps Volunteers and vis  iting them at their sites.  In terms Pauza: What helps you adjust to of the country, I am interested in living in a new place and culture? learning about the culture, the politics, and the daily lives of Corey:  Taking the time to ob- Macedonian people.  serve and listen.  I can learn   about cultural norms and expec- Don:  Experiencing a new tations by  spending adequate country and culture, visiting time with local people. Volunteers with Corey, and   hiking the countryside (which I’m Don:  Learning the language and told is beautiful). reading everything about the   country that I can find, and keep- Pauza: What’s left on your bucking my eyes, ears, and mind et list? open. Corey:  I have to make sure I Pauza: What do you love about live a long and healthy life, so the Peace Corps family? that I can visit old friends and colleagues in countries where I Corey:  So many things.  I love have previously resided.  These being a part of the mission of countries are Argentina, HonduPeace Corps, which I consider ras, Liberia, Mexico, Philippines, so important.  I love working with Sri Lanka, and Thailand.   Volunteers to help them have the best possible experience they Don:  Too much to list: my buckcan have.  I love knowing that et runneth over. At the top of the the relationships I have estab- list would be visiting Bhutan and lished and will establish through traveling through Yunnan, China.  Peace Corps will be life-long.  

y; Don, Corey, and their daughter in Italy Maldives; hanging out in funky Utila, off the north coast of Honduras; spending a week with my 15-year-old daughter in a Spanish immersion course in a small town in Honduras; and climbing a glacier in El Calafate, Argentina. Pauza: What was your most memorable moment as a Volunteer? Corey: The most memorable moment(s) for me as a PCV in Liberia from 1975-1978 were watching my students graduate from high-school where I taught English. The challenges  of rural, tribal students gaining a decent education and graduating was a huge success. I always felt such pride watching them in their caps and gowns receiving their diplomas.   Don: I was never a PCV, but have had some Peace Corpslike experiences, such as teaching English in a small town in southern Laos. My most memorable travel experiences would include witnessing a coup d’etat in Seoul, Korea; living through a student revolution in Savannakhet, Laos, and then, after the Pathet Lao communist takeover,

Fall 2013 – 43

features: fall 2013

meet the peace corps offi

Pauza Magazine interviewed four Peace Corps office staff about fa My favorite place for a fall outing in Macedonia is…

Believe it or not, the local parks in my neighborhood. Natasha Naumovska

The best thing about fall in Macedonia is…

Macedonian food.

Ajvar, pinjur,

grilled corn, mashed eggplants.

Cashier/SPA Coordinator







Milica Kirovska , MD

Peace Corps Medical Contractor

Gazmend Ajdini

General Service Assistant

Ivana (Iva) Tomovska Program Manager

44 – Pauza Magazine

The seasonal change from summer to fall. The color of the leaves changes from The road to Mavrovo, green to yellow, red, Debar is simply brown, and orange.It gorgeous! is beautiful. We also have delicious food and drinks. I enjoy ajvar and salep.

village tourism, the Galicnik wedding, and a weekend in Ohrid or Struga.

Having a picnic near the village of Govrlevo. (Skopska Crna Gora).

features: fall 2013

ice staff: FALL 2013 edition

all in Macedonia and what the Peace Corps family means to them. What I love about being part of the Peace Corps family is…

One thing I’ve learned about diversity from the Peace Corps family is…

The most important lesson I have learnt is that no matter Meeting new people. what country we live in, we still share the same problems and same joys.

The a











One thing I am grateful for in 2013 is…

My first visit to the USA.




We listen and treat each other with respect.

Diversity equals Peace Corps families all over the world.

My wife and I are expecting our first baby in October.

The honor and pleasure of working alongside talented and dedicated people.

Diversity makes us stronger, smarter and more creative as human beings.

Surprise, I am getting married towards the end of the year!

Fall 2013 – 45

a c i e P l Dr h

fun and games

Dear Dr. Philche,

What skeletons are in Stephen Kutzy’s closet? As his closest confidante, surely Dr. Philche has some insight into this matter. Sincerely, Curious

Dear Dr. Philche,

Dear Suspicious,

Being I’ve always on the

ch of my ac promi of ad

Weirdly, Kutzy has actual skeletons in his closet. It’s nothing particularly insidious on his part, but like many a PCV, when he Sincerely, rented his apartment, his landlords left a Wooden spoon bunch of junk around. Some people have old Yugoslav medals, some have frightenDear Stir ing dolls, and some have strange German Crazy, porn. Kutzy had an assortment of bones. The exact formula is a rotation and a half As his faithful servant, however, I can asper gram of roasted peppers every hour. sure you his past is as clean as a Peace This varies slightly depending on whether Corps issued whistle. I know what I’m talking about, but it’s a decent rule of thumb. Still hedging on whether I need a letter of recommendation, Dear Dr. Philche, Popping over to my landlords to pick up Philche a jar, What is the best w Philche ing dogs in Macedo my neighborhood a sleep because of th Dear Dr. Philche,  bors have suggeste kia-laced bread slic Why is it that when I am in a crowded van work? and I am super hot the last thing in the world I want is a nice fresh breeze? Why Yours, am I terrified of that breeze touching my Lying Awake at Nigh skin? and, why do I feel a distinct shrive- Dear Dr. Philche,  ling inside me if I happen to have contact One of my Macedonian friends here said Dear Prostrate Insom with said fresh cool breeze? that he had heard I was a spy, and is also suspicious that I might be affiliated with If PCVs are any g Sincerely, the Illuminati. One of my other friends rakija-laced anythin Prom-ay yay yay-ya said that the first thing a spy would do is worse. I think the b group fall complete deny being a spy. What should I do? Dear Promentally ill, them to do a role p without fail, mouths It’s because you’re a crazy person. As Sincerely, asking the dogs to p everyone knows, Americans receive vac- Jamie Bond in Gevgelija just arriving to the st cines against promaja at birth along with to map out local d Hep B. As for your terror? It’s psychotic. Agent Bond, cans, and PCVs to fi The  shriveling? Psychosomatic. In a Such matters should not be discussed in es of food and hom word, you’ve gone local. the trick. a public forum. Sleeping with three fans and all Reminiscing about a Burn Pauza after reading, the windows open, Philche Agent Philche Philche How long do you stir your Ајвар?

and a wa full of to attract th


46 – Pauza Magazine


fun and games

Modern Problems

American, s just relied

harm ccent, the ise dventure,



he ladies.

way to silence barkonia? I have many in and oftentimes can’t hem. Several neighed tossing them races. Will this really



guide, giving them g just makes things best way to make a ely silent is to ask play in a workshop, s will shut. I suggest pretend they are cats treets and they need dumpsters, garbage find potential sourcmes. That should do

animal control,


Dear Dr. Philche,


trusted advice columnist Everyone is pressuring me to get enPhil Guthrie, MAK 15 gaged or married even after two years, they are still hoping I will get hitched in Dear Dr. Philche, Macedonia, how do I explain to them that this will not happen? Should I bring a bathing suit? Sincerely, I-don’t-want-no-ball-and-chain

Sincerely, Mountain streams and 57 foot waterfalls don’t scare me.

Dear Spinster and/or Hermit, Seriously, what’s wrong with you? You’ve Dear Fearless, been here two years and you’re not engaged? Bathing suits are for cowards. After being Putting together a list of my single friends plunged into a foreign country, speaking not a word of its language, and asked to make for you, friends and change the world, you should Philche have the courage to tackle any body of water without hiding behind a mask. Putting on my swimming blazer, Philche

A farewell from Philche… Dear Dr. Philche, What’s it like writing a quarterly advice column for a bunch of people that probably skim over it and think you’re a buffoon? Dear Dr. Philche,

Your Fictional Reader, Philche

Can you give some insight on Macedonian dating rules...I’m confused and don’t Dear Fictional, understand their ways. Well, reader, it’s been an honor. I’ve lost track, but I think this might be my fifth colSincerely, umn. Regrettably, it is certainly my last. That Dazed and Confused people have come to me over the past two years and bared their souls only to have Dear Unlaid and Confused, me respond with brief, glib, and frankly ofMacedonian dating rules are complex. ten offensive pseudo-advice has warmed Probably. I’m not really sure. Being Amer- my heart. To all the MAK 14s, 15s, 16s, ican, I’ve always just relied on the charm and 17s that have written in and read these of my accent, the promise of adventure, missives, thank you. It has been an honor and a wardrobe full of blazers to attract to serve with you. To the MAK 18s, good the ladies. In the dating world, there’s a luck with your service and please throw the word for someone who plays by the rules: Pauza staff a line if you have an idea for a boring. Get out there and make it up as column. you go along. Finally, to the entire Peace Corps family, Happy Hunting, goodbye - and good luck. Philche Philche Fall 2013 – 47


fun and games


(21 March19 April)


Your great strength is your initiative, courage and determination. You are the leader of the pack, first in line to get things going and fearless along the way. You are a bundle of energy and dynamism. You play as hard as you work. Your love is unquestioned. The dawn- Your great strength is the tenacity with which ing of a new day, and all of its possibilities, is you protect your loved ones. You take great pleasure in the comforts of home and family. pure bliss to you. More than likely, your family will be large - the more, the merrier! Traditions are upheld with great zest in your household, since you prize family history and love communal activities.

(June 21stJuly 22nd)


(April 20th- ЛАВ May 20th) (July 23rdYour great strength is in your stability, loy- Aug 22nd) alty, and dogged determination. You also adore comfort and like being surrounded by pleasing, soothing environments. You favor a good meal and fine wine. The good life in all its guises, whether it’s the arts or art of your own making, is heaven on Earth. Beauty for you also comes in the way of a happy home life, one that includes a partner and a stable relationship.

БЛИЗНАЦИ (May 21stJune 20th)

Your great strength is your ability to communicate effectively. You love to share yourself with your friends and family, and you make for a charming companion. You are intellectually inclined, forever probing people and places in search of information. Sharing that information with those you love is also fun, for you are supremely interested in developing your relationships. 48 – Pauza Magazine

Your great strengths are loyalty, idealism and leadership. The king (or queen) of the jungle is a most appropriate mascot. You are truly warmhearted and want everyone to be happy.. Your charms extend to all; even to the children you dearly love. You also can’t fathom an uncomfortable throne. You can bet your home will be swaddled in royal purple and gold.

ДЕВИЦА (Aug 23rdSept 22nd)

Your great strength is your practicality, sharp mind and attention to detail. When merged with your willingness to serve, you become an essential team player. You were born to serve, and it gives you great joy. You are likely a grounded, salt-of-the-earth type. The sense of duty borne by you is considerable, and it ensures that you will always work for the greater good, at both home and work.


fun and games

adapted from



(Sept 23rdOct 22nd)

Your great strength is your quest for fairness, peace and harmony. You are first and foremost focused on others and how you relate to them. For you, everything is better if it’s done as a pair. While you are a true team player at work, your favorite partnership is marriage. You feel most complete when you are coupled up with yourpartner..

(Dec 22ndJan 19th) Your great strengths are your willingness to work hard and your determination to succeed. Life is one big project for you, and you adapt by adopting a businesslike approach to most everything you do. Sensible and economical, you complete all tasks to the highest degree of quality possible. You love tradition and reserve, and when it comes to love, you are ever devoted.

ШКОРПИЈА ВОДОЛИЈА (Jan 20th(Oct 23rd- Feb 18th) Nov 21st)

Your great strength is determination, passion and motivation. You don’t know the word quit. You are dead serious in your mission to learn about others. You zero in on the essential questions, gleaning the secrets that lie within. You also don’t miss much, since you are highly attuned to the vibrations of others. In love, you soften up a bit and are caring and devoted.

СТРЕЛЕЦ (Nov 22ndDec 21sт)

Your great strength is your philosophical, wide-open and curious nature. You are a truth-seeker, and the best way for you to do this is to hit the road, talk to others and get some answers. You need room to explore the world. If you start to feel hemmed in, you become impatient and difficult. You seek the meaning of life, love to socialize with an everchanging crew, and are eager to share your explorations with others.

Your great strengths are your vision, intellect and humanity. You have the social conscience needed to carry humanity forward. You are determined to make the world a better place and to help everyone you can along the way. This is a collaborative effort for you, so you are quick to engage others in this process. You like to surround yourself with family and friends.


(Feb 19thMar 20th)

Your great strength is your compassionate and charitable nature. You love to help others and do so in the most imaginative of ways. Your intuition is highly evolved, and it’s not uncommon for you to feel your own burdens (and joys) as well as those of others. You put the needs of your family ahead of your own, but it is wise to take time for yourself to find your center once again. Fall 2013 – 49

worth 1,000 words

Photos: Rainbow Veggies (a Trip to the Bitola Pazaar) by Karli-Marie Reyes-Dimovska; Grap Ukraine), & Main Square (L'viv, Ukraine) by Paul Bonwich; Students Holding Albanian Flags Peace Corps Macedonia Live Fantasy Football draft (Veles) by Nick Motwani; Shlegovo Cro 50 – Pauza Magazine

pe Farmer in Demir Kapija, & Dancers by B. Aaron Weaver; Golden Domed Cathedral (Kyiv, s on 28 Nentori (Pershefce) by Enid Moore; Alex and Nick Teaching American Football, & oss, above Kratovo by Faron Sagebiel Fall 2013 – 51

Special Edition

52 – Pauza Magazine

mAK 16

Yearbook Fall 2013 – 53

mAK 16 super atIves Class




By Anna Schmidt, MAK 16

Best cultural Carly assimilation

Anna Most likely to

Skype with their host parents while in America

Most changed since Philadelphia

Sarah Stone Kenzie

Most likely to start singing Tose as they walk down the street in America

Most “off the grid”

Most likely to return to America and believe in promaja

MAK 16 therapist

Dan Rankin


Most likely to dance Julie oro at someone’s wedding in America

Most likely to throw a chair on Jerry Springer Cutest couple that never was


Most likely to still be speaking Macedonian in 20 years

Amy Most likely to rock the Kutzy ‘stache


Andres Hana & Faron

KarliMarie Stephen Best sense of humor

54 – Pauza Magazine

Best photographer

MAK 16 badass Kelly

Sara S.

Definition: The badass carves her own path. She radiates confidence, is slow to anger, and is brutally efficient when fighting back. (adapted from the Urban Dictionary)

Most likely to return as Peace Corps Country Director in Macedonia

Sara C. Most likely

to make it onto the Forbes most powerful people list

Alastair Most likely to be executive director of an international NGO


Shannon F.


Spirit of Peace Corps Macedonia

Most inspirational athlete MAK 16 Hearthrob



Most beloved Peace Corps teacher MAK 16 Rabblerouser

Most likely to broker peace between rival nations through dance Shannon (a.k.a. dancing queen!) PJ.


Best domakinka

Most likely to open his own winery and rakia distillery in America


Michelle Most likely to stream Turkish soap operas in America

Laura Most likely to live in a tree (on the Appalachian Trail) after COS


Best adventure travel buddy

Rebecca Most likely to fast during Ramadan in America

Fall 2013 – 55

Looking Back Moving Forward By Lew Hemmer, MAK 16

During the course of my service, I felt the need to find a way of maintaining some semblance of emotional balance. After settling in, I became acutely aware of the realities of being without a site mate and facing a year and a half out of my comfort zone. In order to maintain some balance and successfully fulfill my Peace Corps commitment, I developed a twist on the traditional journal method. A chart like the one you see here is what I used over the past many months. I went to the chart whenever I felt the need to reflect and/or express some emotional discomfort or yearning. I would not allow myself to add anything positive or negative on another line, until I had completed a full line. This kept me within the general state of emotional balance that I so desired. My chart will be added to my many photos and will serve as a souvenir of my Peace Corps experience. It is my hope that some PCV in a following group will find this chart useful. To give you an example of the format I used, Pauza asked our cohort of MAK 16s to insert their own thoughts into the four categories (below). The result is a composite of what we MAK16s are feeling as we prepare for COS, looking back on our service and daring to move forward.

Looking back on my Looking back on my service, I will not miss… service, I will miss… Being stared at every time I go running, as if promaja itself was chasing me.

The good friends and my old host family that I visited every month after moving sites. Spending my work nights at the pub with backgammon and a cup of tea. All of the cafes with Shopska salad.

Moving forward, I am not Moving forward, I am looking forward to… looking forward to… Being able to understand every word of every conversation whether I want to or not.

Choices and options in all aspects of life.

Watching the Green Bay Sitting on a bus for 2 Retelling the same stories Packers win a Superhours to go only 45 km. over and over again. bowl with my family by my side. All of the Peace Corps Paying higher prices for EVA greater selection of acronyms. ERYTHING. cheeses. Jug Tourist or any other Bagels, pulled pork, The social stigma attached to public transportation for Going na kafe. seafood, and Chef Bo9am rakija. that matter. yardee. MEAT. RIBS. BBQ. A culture that values An American work week and Being told to marry. CHEDDAR. DARK community. work ethic. BEER. AUUGGHHHHH. Call to prayer. My Going back to the rat race. Seeing friends and famWinters. Being Cold! Macedonian friends. Starting over. ily. Ajvar! Stuffing my face Getting ajvar mailed to Peeling peppers. Driving to the grocery store. at slavas. me every year. Standing on an overBeing asked “How was crowded bus with turGetting invited to a Peace Corps?” by people bofolk blaring, while the stranger’s house on a Driving a car. who don’t really want to driver is smoking and regular basis listen. talking on his phone. The hospitality, support, Being treated like a Starting a new life with and acceptance of my Working 9-5. child. my new husband. friends and family. The end of a two-year Being fat. Being fat and happy. Rushing around all the time. celibacy. 56 – Pauza Magazine

From Sargent Shriver, “In the Peace Corps, the volunteer must be a fully developed, mature person. He must not join to run abroad or escape problems.” Good thing I didn’t read this before I joined. I would have had to decline the invitation! :D – Terri Jones

Never turn down an earnest rakija massage, especially after prolonged promaja exposure. –Michelle Vitone

Thank you Macedonia, for all your brutal honesty. I’ve never had to wonder about my appearance, ‘cause you’ve always told me! It’s honestly appreciated, and will be missed! –Jamie Metz

We were told when we came that, “Тоа е тоа.” Now that we are leaving we know that, “Тоа беше она што го беше!” – Lew Hemmer

It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world. -Stephen Robinson

As a friend recently told me, “Your Fellow 16’s, thanks for all the laughs, ideas and plans will always be in the oro dancing and Settlers of Catan mind of the people, but perhaps you for the last two years! Does anyone have to leave for change to be truly have any brick? theirs, and then it can be yours.” – Lori Weaver – Hana Truscott

Mak 16


Best wishes to everyone! It’s been a wild, crazy but amazing ride and I’m so thankful to have been a part of this group! Xoxo – Shannon P-J

Ј-Б-Г - Сара Кристофер

Savor your great memories of service in Macedonia, but don’t forget to move forward. Use your time here as a stepping stone to bigger and better things in your life back home. – Anonymous Last night while reading Willa Cather’s novel Shadows on the Rock, I read this excerpt that hit home with me. It reflects what our common “everydays” can be if we try: “ One made a climate within a climate; one made the days,—the complexion, the special flavour, the special happiness of each day as it passed; one made life.” – Sarah Stone

Don’t panic, just have coffee. -Anonymous

In the words of A.A. Milne, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ― Carly Jerome

Go new places, meet new people, say yes to everything and live without regret. - Anonymous

Something witty. – Aaron Weaver

A round-trip bus ticket: 500 denari. A shot of rakija: 30 denari. Two years of memories and friends: priceless. Some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s our generous PC stipend. – Anna Schmidt

Fall 2013 – 57

MAK 16 Mix Tape

MAK 16 Facebook Group Compiled by Karli-Marie Reyes-Dimovska from the

Side A

nnon Pier re-Jerome Makedonija Nav iva Za Va s by Tose Proesk i - Sha li-Marie Reyes-Dimovska Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye - Kar Xhamada ni Vija Vija by Shemi Iliret - Enid Moore Kao Ti i Ja by Az ra - Ken zie MacKillop Nazad, Nazad Kalino Mome - Ste phen Robinson midt The Bad Touch by Blood hou nd Ga ng - An na Sch Kes h by Adrija na Acevs ka - Austin Fast Guy on a Buffalo (Episode 2) - Hana Tru scott Valle Kosova re by Sh pa t Kasapi - Enid Moore Persp ekt iva by S.A.R.S. - Shannon Pierre-Jerome

Side B Gülümcan - Hana Tru scott Al Kap one by Elita 5 - Enid Moore Bak lava by Tvojte Oci Leno - Ste phen Robinson Stone So Maki Sum Se Rodil by Tose Proes ki - Sarah Fast Be straga by Nokaut & Igor Dza mbazov - Austin Tumasz Oj, Devojce by Tose Proes ki & Synthe sis - Julie e U.S.A. by Dubioza Kolekt iv - Shannon Pierre-Jerom Reyes-Dimovs ka In My Bedroom by Ral vero & Dadz - Karli-Marie Rina Rina by NRG Band - Enid Moore Jovano, Jovanke - Ken zie MacKillop (Yeap. Tha t happe ned.) 58 – Pauza Magazine

Pauza 2013 4 fall singles draft 3