2010 in Review


So, I’ve closed out the only full calendar year I’m going to see in Macedonia. New Year’s and the attendant powerful firecrackers/my fear that one of my siblings would lose an eye, or worse, are gone. This has been a weird past month to close out the year, and the not the best; I keep getting sick (three times. Three times.), and last night just couldn’t do it, so came back to my house to fall asleep after a couple hours with my family.

Still, I guess I got some stuff done this past year.


* Made alphabet books with 37 of the third-graders (spring 2010)
* Ran a school spelling bee (June 2010)
* Worked as an instructor at Camp GLOW (July 2010)
* Started the “English Stars” program for the fourth- and fifth-graders at my school; it’s mostly now done by my co-workers since I’ve hardly been in school for months (September 2010)
* Began working on building a school library of English books (fall 2010 – present)
* Ran regional spelling bees in nine schools, and a final spelling bee with the winning students from the regionals (November – December 2010)
* Applied for a grant for my school’s library (December 2010)


* Visited Albania & Greece
* Parents visited
* My host sister J’s wedding
* Taught my sister Z. how to make an American “cake” (a giant chocolate chip cookie)
* Made baklava
* Made yufki
* Took the GRE subject test
* Made Christmas cookies with A.
* Got sick a lot

I guess this stuff is okay. I’m leaving on vacation in a couple days, so I’m trying to pack and get things ready for that, and I also promised A. we would make more cookies today. (Trying to use up all the butter I bought for the Christmas cookies.) Sitting here breathing through my mouth, I am really, really relieved that this year is over. Something about the spelling bees took it out of me; I got sick during the semi-finals and haven’t really felt normal since then, heading from a major cold straight into a bizarre bleeding lesion in my insides (which I chose to ignore because we were dealing with the final spelling bee and I was trying to finish the grant; good choice), straight into the flu.

It’s the illness and tiredness talking, but right now I’m exhausted of Macedonia and my work here. I should come back from vacation recharged, because I have a lot going on in the spring. There’s this Model UN thing I was tricked into doing, a Flat Stanley project, doing the alphabet books with this year’s third graders, starting English Clubs back up, deciding whether I want to do my adult ESL class again, a schoolwide reading program… but right now, I’m tired and pretty happy/hopeful that this time next year I should be celebrating New Year’s in the states.

2 responses »

  1. What’s yufki? A Google search turned up a bunch of non-English gibberish. In case you are wondering, I realized that I never added your NEW blog address to my Google Reader and am catching up now.

    • Yufki is kind of like pasta. Doesn’t taste the same, so if I’m here when they make it this year I need to see what they put in the dough (which they made a day before we rolled the dough out – I was too lazy to help on that day last year). Here’s a photo of Macedonian yufki, looks like it’s got cheese on it which is a normal way of eating it. My family also sometimes makes sweets with the yufki, I think by “baking” it (they’ll usually make yufki by putting it in a pan, with water, in the oven) with sugar water.

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