Thursday, September 25, 2008

Exploring the Balkans

I love the Balkans.

Drying peppers the local way
Alojz, Sasho, Goce, and me lunching after climbing at Matka
Yours truly posing in front of the Macedonian Flag. Tracy loves this flag it shouts peace to her. Can't say I disagree. Flags say a lot about a nation.
Chossing up a line at Matka
Skopje at night taken from the Turkish Fortress
Alojz and me enjoying "Pivolend" (Beer land). Look at the sign for the Skopje Beer festival. Bottoms up boys!

Puka Burger, uh no thanks.
Looking down at one of the cafes in Matka canyon.
This is where we slept. Vigilante poaching skills in effect.
"Little Matka"
She followed us around the first night in Matka and then slept right next to the camper and spent the entire day with us the next day. I think she is a stray but she sure knows how to pick her hood.

Entrance to Decani Monastery
New appartment complex in Prishtina
Decani Monastery
Hey look at that sexy kitten. My wife is hot!!
Grapes from a vine at a local Kula

So... I know I'm a big slacker when it comes to updating my blog but when you spend way too much time on the computer for work than you want, updating a blog can become a tiresome chore. LIfe here for me is characterized by work, work, and way too much work, puncuated by a few great weekends where we have managed to explore some of the local beauties of the region, meet new friends, and even manage some choss-aruski (hey it sounds kind of slavic) climbing.

Work: Work, ahh, the bane of my existence as of right now. The school where I work is a chaotic mess of students, teachers, and administration all tangled up in a dance where no one knows who leads and subsequently where we all step on each other's toes. Without getting into too many details, the situation is one in which it takes me 3 or maybe even 4 times the amount of time to get basic things done to run my class. The same can be said for conducting lessons in the classroom. And in the long run this equates to me spending way more time than I care to put into work. I've always been the kind of guy who needs his own time. That is to say I can only, and only want to, dedicate a certain amount of my time, MY LIFE, to my profession. Don't get me wrong, I care about my job and most of the time enjoy it. But when things get to the point where you barely have time to eat and sleep, then in my opinion its time to re-evaluate how you've arranged your life. Okay enough said, I could go on forever but will spare you my ranting.

Exploration: We've tried to leave the city as much as possible on the weekends since we've been here. In the past 3 weeks we've done a lot of exploring throughout the region. Although all the sights, sounds, tastes, and discoveries we've made have been fascinating, hands down the highlights have been the Decani Monastery outside of Peja, Matka Canyon in Macedonia, and the Beer festival our new friend Alojz took us to in Skopje. Since, I'm still burned out on computers,(until I get this job situation under control will probably remain that way), I'll let the pictures I took tell the story.

We're are heading to the Julian Alps in Slovenia tomorrow for 4 days of relaxation and mountainization. Time to load up the pack, breath a big gulp of air, and ready myself for some REAL LIVING!!!

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