My first visitor, my delightful cousin Bianca, took lots of beautiful photos while she was here. Check out what she had to say about her visit and her pictures in the gallery. (And book your ticket to visit next!) -Rebekah
Teaching English on a Fulbright grant has me in southwestern Turkey for a year, and when I learned that my cousin would be in Macedonia I made getting to the Balkans a priority. Our university has a mid-semester break that accommodated a visit quite nicely, so I was able to visit my cousin in her village for a short stay.
Although I’m an American, I felt my newly adopted Turkishness coming through much more strongly as I constantly compared foods and cultural norms, exclaiming more often than not over the similarities. Turkish coffee! Pide! Borek! Sour cherry! The foodie delights brought on Turkish nostalgia, but even more potent was Macedonian hospitality.
My cousin’s host family brought out their finest in terms of home-made treats and warm hugs and kisses. Complete the scene with a Turkish soap opera playing on TV and I was home. I loved the new experience of visiting my cousin’s world, and I loved the closeness in how it reflected mine.
(Call me back for ajvar season, and I’ll bring some olive oil from my neighbor’s trees for the feast!)