I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Macedonia: Day Two

We went to bed early last night and slept very well. Jet lag has a way of doing that to you. This morning, Danny was awake early to eat breakfast with Kyle before they left Prilep to go to a local village, Krivogashtani. They worked until around 5 constructing a playground and aren’t quite finished. I walked this morning in the local neighborhood and then joined Jackie and Daniel for breakfast. Their son, Daniel, is home from school with a fever. We were asked to join Jackie’s neighbors for coffee late this morning and had a wonderful visit with two dear ladies. This is the week following Easter and I have been included in an Easter tradition. At home, we die Easter eggs lovely pale shades and usually we die them with our children. I don’t know if there is actually anything associated with that tradition that is spiritual. Here, they die a bunch of eggs prior to Easter and the main color is red. Sometimes they put them in a pot with a red onion and the color is a brown shade, but there are also always red ones. Jackie and Kyle had asked someone about the tradition of the red eggs and they had an interesting explanation. This person said that the eggs are died red because Mary, the mother of Jesus, had a basket of eggs at the foot of the cross and the blood of Jesus dripped on them. So for the Orthodox, the red color symbolizes the blood of Christ. The person they talked to went on to say that one egg is held out and saved for a year and that is to “keep” the house safe or well. I asked the ladies today about the tradition and neither one really knew why the eggs were to be red except that it had something to do with the blood of Christ or with the color of the wine. So, the tradition of dyeing the eggs red is one that is handed down but not always the explanation for why. We did some research when we got back home and the tradition that was explained to Kyle and Jackie actually comes from Orthodox Christian Romania. According to this tradition, the practice of egg dyeing takes place on the Thursday before Easter Sunday. The tradition holds that one of the eggs is to be taken and blessed by the Priest, but Jackie said that doesn’t always happen in Prilep. In the Serbian tradition, the blessed egg is then the “keeper” and because it was blessed it will remain unspoiled until next Easter. That egg is said to insure family security and health. Also in the Orthodox Christian Romania tradition, after the Thursday mass, some of the died eggs are buried in vineyards to have God’s protection from hailstorms and to ensure a good harvest. Kyle and Jackie had been told the part about the hailstone protection as well. We also read stories of Mary Magdelene and the white eggs turning to red on different occasions when people put her stories of Christ’s resurrection to the test of the truth. I just think they are beautiful and quite a departure from the pastel eggs of home. It is also an Orthodox tradition to give an egg to your visitors so everyone has a basket at home with eggs from all of the people they have visited. So in true Macedonian Orthodox tradition, I have 3 eggs now that I added to Jackie’s overflowing basket. We plan to make egg salad soon….lol. Jackie and I ate lunch at home with Daniel and then we went to a “club” for people with Downs Syndrome or others that have been mentally affected. This is run by the parents of these kids who volunteer three days a week to give an afternoon of their time to have this “club”. When we arrived they were painting walnut shells that later would be made into ladybugs as they learned about insects. It was quite obvious that they were loved and cared for by these parents. This was in stark contrast to what I saw in China, where I worked with tiny children with special needs that were cast off from their family because they weren’t whole or perfect. We stayed at the club until the kids started going home and returned home to prepare supper. Our very tired men came in and showered and we had black eyed peas, cornbread and cabbage slaw for supper. After supper we went to the home of Tinche and Aleksandre’s for a pre-Baptism class. Their son, Boban is a good friend of Daniel and we visited them last year.  Tinche, Aleksandre and their daughter Stefie were attending the class as well as Evgenia. All of these we had met last year and visited with and this year they are new believers and studying about what that means and how it applies to Baptism. Tinche is a gracious hostess and after our class she brought out a vegetable salad (peas, carrots, corn in sour cream and mayonnaise) and some absolutely delicious chocolates and treats she had made. That combined with Evgenia’s homemade cookies made me really glad we had not already eaten dessert because I had to try one of everything! Kyle and Danny are really tired and we had left Daniel for quite awhile so we are back home now getting ready for sleep. Tomorrow is another early day for Danny and Kyle as they head back to work on the playground project. So until tomorrow…

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