Sunday, March 29, 2009

Friends in Topanna

We love visiting with this precious family in Topanna. Topanna is a Roma section in Skopje. Sawyer has a blast when he gets to go too! They feed him lots of cookies and dance around the house. Actually you can probably tell in the top picture that he is stuffing his face. I am close friends with the lady in the pink stripped shirt. We are very close in age. We talk, laugh, and study together. It's always an encouraging time for me. Eric visits with her husband and brother-in-law (the father of the two boys sitting on the sofa with Sawyer and the girl). We are thankful that this family is always so warm and inviting to us. Please pray for the little girl in the red shirt. She has a heart problem. Her parents are very worried for her.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring brings snow

Yesterday, the official first day of spring, brought us a lot of snow. Our weekend plans have changed now and we are staying close to home. I'm not excited about the snow but I am happy for the three of us to get to stay home and rest and spend time together!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Baby and Burek

I went for my first check-up today at the hospital where I will deliver our baby. The baby is measuring at almost 10 weeks with a very strong heartbeat! I'm weighing 58 kilos. I really like weighing in kilos because it always sounds low compared to pounds :) I told my doctor that I am craving Burek EVERY day. He said it's okay for now but I need to be careful as the pregnancy progresses because Burek is such a high calorie food. In case you don't know about Macedonian burek...just trust me, It's delicious!! The picture above shows a yogurt drink, which is what most Macedonians drink with their yogurt. I personally don't care for this yogurt drink. My favorite drink for these days is Sprite and I'm SO glad Macedonia has Sprite. I'm not sure if I could survive this first trimester without it:)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy International Women's Day!

Today, March 8th, is Women's Day. Macedonians celebrate this holiday by taking a flower or small gift to the important women that they love and respect. Here's a picture of Sawyer from Friday when he took presents to his teachers for this holiday. Mother's Day is not celebrated here, so this is the closest holiday to that occasion. Today, as we drove to and from church, there were swarms of people out buying flowers from sellers on the sidewalks.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

First Baby Picture

Here's our first baby picture of our new little one. The baby is over to the far right. I realize you have to look very carefully in order to actually see it. We are 8 weeks along and we saw the heart beating today! This picture is actually a picture of the screen because the doctor's ultrasound machine doesn't print pictures. So that's why it's so blurry! We will start going to the private hospital soon for our appointments and the ultrasound machine there will be very up to date and hopefully print us out some pictures.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Meal Program is getting under way

Yesterday was the start of the new meal program that Eric is helping with. This program provides lunch three times a week for children at two different locations of a Roma Educational Center. Eric will be involved with this project every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Here's some pictures from the first day!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Day of Forgiveness (Prochka)

Yesterday the Macedonians celebrated an old Orthodox Holiday called The Day of Forgiveness, or Prochka. I have really enjoyed learning about their holidays since living here. Understanding their holidays and customs gives me insight into their culture and belief system. Prochka is the beginning of Easter celebrations (or Lent Fast) and it includes Christian and pagan customs.
On this day each year, grown daughters and sons visit their parent's homes to ask them for forgiveness for anything they have did wrong against their parents. They take their parents something sweet, like cookies, and some coffee to show their parents respect. Pepi told me that now days the children don't literally ask their parents for forgiveness anymore. They just take the sweets as a gift and that symbolizes that they want to be forgiven. They of course will kiss and hug their parents. They are very affectionate people.
Also on this day there are carnivals in different Macedonian cities. There are parades with many masked people. I've watched some YouTube clips about this holiday to see what it's all about. I've never been to Mardi Gras but this does seem similar.