Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OLD MAN WINTER CAME KNOCKING


The old, abandoned Serbian church
A few birds trying to get some food from a plant poking out of the snow
Pro-Credit Bank in downtown Prishtina
In front of our school, American School of Kosova

This past Saturday I awoke to a heavy snow falling. I remember wondering why it looked so light outside in the middle of the night when I had briefly awoken, but I shrugged it off to my imagination. Finally, around 6am when I got up for good I looked out the window and saw a blanket of white snow covering as far as I could see in the city. Immediately I felt the buzz that a snow storm gives me. It was as if the city was transformed into an entirely new environment. I knew from the swelling feeling inside me that I needed to submerge myself in the new environment. I also had this trip planned with my Outdoor Club from school in which we were suppose to meet at 7:30 am and go on a day hike in Matka Canyon, Macedonia. As I walked to school I realized that the chances of most of the kids showing up was slim, and even slimmer chance of getting the buses to do the 2 hr drive to Matka.

When I arrived at school only 1 student, Krenare, was there. She had the same buzz as I and was ready to make the most of this new environment. Within a few minutes another student arrived, Sami. He too was one of us. As a group of 3 we waited around for awhile for any other students but none came. We took one look at the bus which was running and ready to go, but decided that the rear tires were so bald, and the roads were to bad to risk the drive to Matka. So, we did the next best thing and walked through the city and made our way to Germia Park where we could get into the woods and hike the snowed in trails. Krenare wanted to take photos of the snowed in city so she went her separate way. Sami and I spent the next 7 hours or so hiking, helping stuck cars get out, and talking about life. It was great to connect on a different level with one of my students. Sami is an extremely bright kid with a great perspective on things. It was great to share with him and learn from him throughout the day. He hopes one day to design cars. I have no doubt that if that's the path he continues on, that sure enough, one day he will be the one shaping the future look of automobiles. Here are a few pictures that I took from the day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A FEW SHORT WEEKEND TRIPS MIXED UP WITH WEEKLY BOREDOM


Looking into Tara Canyon Montenegro

Hiking in Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
Durmitor Ski resort

Look closely, I took these pictures one morning to capture the massive crow invasion that wakes us up every morning. I swear there are literally thousands.


Drinking beer, hiking, and cow roaming wild-yup, that's Montenegro


This one's for you Andrea. A local meat shop where they hang the animal in the window and drain the blood out. UMM YUMMY!
Prizren- an old Ottoman city
Last weekend me and Tracy rented a car and drove over the mountain into Montenegro. We didn't have any real plan but just went exploring. We had hopes of finding this place Durmitor National Park but one thing I've learned living in this part of the world is to not expect finding a place when you can't speak the language, read the road signs, and have never been there before. Lucky for us we found Durmitor but not without nearly driving out of the country into Serbia. Here are some pictures from our trip. The video is funny as hell and a perfect example of how boredom can seriously affect a person.
video

Friday, November 7, 2008

Craziness in Macedonia and at home


My new do. Notice the facial growth -1 week so far, only 6.5 more to go. I love how it grows in like Joe Dirt, all redneck like.


Blues brotha

Standing among legends-city murals in Skopje, Macedonia

Some cows shared the path with us on route from Matka Canyon to Skopje

Umm! Doh!nuts

This bear is locked in this cage the size of Uhaul truck. Oh, and the cage is right next to the playground. I'm suprised a kid hasn't reached into the cage yet and gotten mauled.

Hanging at a local Kulla-a traditonal "hangout" for local men to discuss issues

Here are a few pictures we took on a trip to Skopje, Macedonia. I was a concentration camp victim for Halloween, hence the shaved head. No, not really-just a rash decision because I was hot and annoyed with hair curling around my ears. One more thing... Tracy has always wanted me to grow a beard but I always end of shaving after a week or so because it starts to annoy me. In fact the longest I've ever gone without shaving was 3 weeks one summer ago. We have a bet going between the two of us in which if I win-I WIN BIG TIME!!! So, I'm determined to win. All I have to do is not shave until we return to the states on Dec. 21. So, I'll post a picture of me to evaluate the grizz-factor every couple of weeks. Just wait, I'll return to the states like a Pakistani terrorist but a great reward awaits me.
video