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Africa started with a bang! When the 4X4 showed up at our door and they told us how to set up our roof top tents I could feel the excitement in the air. We were all busting to hit the road.
Our first stop was Naukluft National Park where the baboons stalked our camp, but we were surrounded by spectacular canyons, natural pools and waterfalls perfect for swimming. The next morning we saw a herd of mountain zebra galloping through the bush.
In the trees there were these giant birds’ nests created by birds called sociable weavers. We also spotted springbok playing around. Our next stop was Sesriem, home to some truly enormous sand dunes. We woke up with the moon still high in the sky, the stars glistening and we started out for Dune 45. The color was a radiant red.
We hiked up the dune’s spine, and sat down in the warm sand just in time to watch the sun rise. We later drove our speedy 4X4 to Big Daddy, perhaps the largest sand dune in the world. Do you know the reason the sand is red? The sand has iron in it and when it rains the iron rusts and turns the sand a reddish rust color. Well now you know!
Later we went deep into the desert and saw the dry remains of an old lake basin. Crazy right? Actually the entire desert was once believed to have been an ocean. That night our campsite was incredible. We slept under our own acacia tree. When the sun was setting we made our brai (African barbeque) and watched the sun slip below the horizon. As darkness fell we could hear the animals crunching in the bush just a few feet below us. While we were driving through the park we saw our first oryx. The oryx has the most beautiful horns I have ever seen. Another spectacular stop was Mirabeb, a campsite in the middle of absolutely nowhere. There was nothing in sight for miles. We slept under a rock escarpment (over hang). While we were hiking we found mica, a rock with thin pieces of translucent papery material running through it like a mirror. Later in the day we visited the local people in their village and delivered a bag of clothes, toys and school supplies. The children had big smiles on their faces. How about that for another epic week… wow, I am SO lucky!
The ten finalists of the 2012 DogEared Blogger contest have been chosen! Click here to read the reviews and vote for your favorite. Cast your vote in the poll on the right side of the review page.
The last day to vote is February 1, so be sure to come back once a day and vote for your favorite review!
Tell all your friends to help vote. The three reviewers that receive the most votes will become our new DogEared Bloggers!
Illustration by Chris Rooney
Today National Geographic Kids reporter Mallory Moore, age 12, sat down at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden to discuss this weekend’s Inauguration and the Joining Forces initiative to support military families.
Mallory kicked off the roundtable discussion by asking about why the Joint Forces initiative was important and how kids could help.
Both Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden emphasized the fact that we need to show our support, not just say that we are supporting military families. Many military families have to move a lot and we kids can help by being kind and inclusive. Dr. Biden also offered advice for kids in military families. She says that it helps to be involved in extracurricular activities like being on a sports team or working on the school newspaper. She also reminded us that even though these kids are not fighting, they are still serving so we should show our support to these families through our actions and our words and join forces to support and serve as a nation.
MRS. OBAMA: Well, for me, I came to the issue of military families in a different way from Dr. Biden. I had an opportunity to meet military families and kids when the President was first campaigning. And that was some of the first opportunities I had to go on military bases and really understand the huge sacrifice that these families make.
The average military kid goes to multiple schools over the course of going to high school; they may go to five or six or seven different schools. We just talked about one individual military kid whose father had been deployed for about half of their life. Imagine that. For half of your life your dad is away because he’s serving this country.
And I would hear those stories and I would just be overwhelmed by that level of sacrifice, and I realized that a lot of people in this country were like me– they never got to meet military families, they never got to know anything about them, so their service is something that most people don’t know about.
So I sort of follow up–I get to be First Lady. I want to take this spotlight that I have as First Lady and shine it on these individuals and make sure that the country understands that we have to show these families just how grateful we are for their service. It’s not enough for us just to say it. We have to show them, and make sure that they’re beings supported and they feel our love and support because of what they’re going through. And that’s one of the things we’re trying to do with Joining Forces.
But Jill’s experiences are very different from mine.
DR. BIDEN: I wanted to work on military families because I am a military mom and a military grandmom. And so before I was Second Lady, in my state of Delaware my husband was a senator, and so I was working with Delaware Boots on the Ground helping military families already.
So it was so great when Michelle and I got together as First and Second Lady that she said, Jill, what do you want to work on? And I said, I want to work on military families, and she said, I want to work on military families, too. So it was so great that this was an issue–Michelle has her issues that she likes to work on, and I have mine that I like. But this is one that we share together, so it has–it’s great for both of us because then we get to spend a lot of time together which is nice as well.
MALLORY: Well, what do you like to read?
MRS. OBAMA: You know what, I like to read–I read a great book–I don’t get a chance to read that often. Jill is–she is always recommending great books, but by the time I get into bed I can read a page and I fall asleep. But I read this wonderful mystery that was really very good. So mysteries are good. I love fictional history. I just love a good book, a good story. So it’s almost–it really doesn’t matter. I’m pretty open-minded.
And last summer I read a lot of the old classics with Malia, as she’s getting to the age of reading The Catcher in the Rye and Tender is the Night. So we’ve read some of those. All of our family read together Life of Pi, which is our family’s favorite book, and we watched the movie, which we loved, Life of Pi. That was the other movie that I saw–Life of Pi. I remembered. So I love Life of Pi, because it was also something that we shared as a family, and it was a great story of adventure and fantasy.
MRS. OBAMA: Do you guys want to be journalists?
MALLORY: A book reviewer, maybe.
MRS. OBAMA: You want to be a book reviewer? What’s your favorite book?
MALLORY: To pick one, well, I guess it would be the one I last read, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
DR. BIDEN: I just bought that.
MALLORY: Yes, it’s really interesting. It’s an interesting perspective.
What question would you ask Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden?
If you like to do hands-on science activities, you’ll want to visit the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas. The museum opened its doors in early December 2012, and has already had nearly 200,000 visitors! Some favorite exhibits are been the hands-on robots in the Bio Lab, and the Rose Hall of Birds, where you can have a 3-D flying experience.
Let the planning begin. This crazy week was spent preparing for our awesome trip to Africa. We started by narrowing down the countries that were the highest on our list. After hours of studying travel books, maps, and websites our heads were spinning but our current plan is to start in Namibia and travel on to Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and finally Mozambique. There are tons of incredible things to do in Sub Saharan Africa. I was only five when I came to Africa the first time so I am super excited to go again. Have you ever been to Africa?
I still can’t believe we have been to 27 countries already in the past 18 months and that this is our last continent. I could travel forever. I love everything about our journey but maybe not the packing. We spent an insanely busy weekend packing our one carryon suit case with school books, a very small amount of clothing, cameras, and binoculars. On Sunday morning we said a sad goodbye to my grandma and grandpa and hopped on the train to Chicago. In Chicago the temperature was four degrees and we nearly froze our fingers off, but we ended our day with piping hot Chicago style pizza.
We left Chicago the next morning and started out on our four day journey to Africa. Within the first five minutes of our drive from the airport to our hotel in Windhoek, Namibia we saw two gorgeous giraffes grazing in the bush.
When we arrived at our hotel we jumped in the pool and started talking to travelers from all over the world. They shared their stories and confirmed that there is an endless list of amazing things for us to do and see. Our first day we toured the city of Windhoek. We visited the handicraft center and saw handmade creations from the small villages throughout Namibia. The indigenous people use things that we would just throw away and turn them into beautiful creations. There were picture frames made of bike chains, boxes made of computer keys, African animals carved from old wood, they even took old radio parts and made solar powered portable radios. It just makes you realize our trash is their treasure. I am so excited to explore the rest of this awe inspiring African continent!
January 13 marks the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society! Back in 1888, 33 men founded the Society at a meeting held at the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. Since then, the National Geographic Society has grown to be one of the world’s largest scientific and educational organizations. To celebrate, we are planning events throughout the year, and will look back on all of the amazing discoveries and adventures, as well as look ahead to the exploration that is still to come!
How are you going to explore the world this year?
BOOK NAME: The Mark of Athena
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
Hi readers! I am reporting to you about Rick Riordan’s new book, The Mark of Athena. It’s book three in the Heroes of Olympus series. I couldn’t wait for this book to come out because as you probably know by now, I think Rick Riordan rocks! Well, The Mark of Athena was worth the wait!
In the book, Jason, Percy and the five other questers meet at the Roman camp. Then all of the sudden, Leo attacks the camp with the ship’s weaponry! The demigods barely make it out and are immediately on their quest. Leo is definitely my favorite character. He’s really funny and messes around, but when it’s time to work, he WORKS HARD! I like that about him.
This is my favorite book in the series so far because the Greeks and Romans FINALLY meet. This puts a lot of tension in the story; you never know when a betrayal will happen. Talk about suspense! Also, there are a lot of new monsters in the story. Some are comical characters and others are downright nasty! Even if you haven’t been following the series, the way Rick Riordan develops his characters is a really good reason for trying this book. You won’t be disappointed.
Until next time, folks!
Hi guys! We ended our unforgettable five months in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and started our family Christmas in Michigan with a bang. We did sooo many fun things while we were home. We went sledding on our Zipfy sleds and had a few wipe outs, too. The next day we went to the movies and saw Parental Guidance which was really funny. On Christmas Eve there was a huge snowstorm, so we had to build a snowman and snow angels. We named our snowman Frosty.
We have a tradition twice a year in the summer and at Christmas to see my dad’s family at an old lodge. In the winter they have an awesome toboggan track. This year the track was covered in ice and we reached a speed of 38 mph. Yet another fantastic day we had a family bowling night, and of course I won.
One of the highlights of this holiday season was a fascinating evening at the Cranbrook Institute of Science. They have one of the most powerful telescopes ever in their brand new observatory.
On Christmas morning we decided to stay in our pajamas all day and play with our new gifts. My favorite was my iPhone and Everest’s favorite was his microscope and remote control rat.
What did you get for Christmas? What was your favorite gift? What holiday do you celebrate? When we went to Christmas mass there were stories told about the River Jordan and the Red Sea, and it was amazing to think that we were there just days ago. We had a wonderful time in Jordan, the memories that will stay with me forever. For the rest of our stay at home we saw some of our friends, spent time with my grandparents, did A LOT of school, and started preparing for our amazing trip to Africa… ROAR!
Hello! This week in Jordan was just as amazing as last or maybe even more. We started it off in the desert of Wadi Rum where we stayed in a Bedouin camp. Our first night there we went on an epic sunset camel ride. My camel was only one year old and had quite a spirit about him. Later in the evening we rolled down gigantic sand dunes. The sand was so fine it was like powdered sugar.
In the morning we loaded in to a four-by-four and began our unbelievable tour of the entire desert. There were times when we were going so fast I thought we might tip over. All the rock formations were massive. There was even one that looked like an enormous mushroom (soup anyone?).
Has anyone ever seen Lawrence of Arabia? On our tour we saw where he lived and where they filmed the movie. After a long day of exploring we sat around the fire and listened to the Bedouins sing and play their drum for us. We had a private concert. Everest fell in love with the drum and decided it was what he wanted for Christmas. With the help of our new friends, my parents found an awesome drum so can have our own little drummer boy for Christmas.
After our extraordinary stay in Wadi Rum it was off to Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Our first night there we went to Petra at Night.
We walked through the winding sig that was lit up by thousands of candles. As we walked to the end we stood in awe of The Treasury, one of the most significant monuments in Petra. It really takes your breath away. We sat and listened to old stories and traditional music under the moonlight. We woke up the next morning and were off to Petra again. We wanted to see everything. We started on horseback and then walked through the Siq, which is kind of like a little canyon. Did you know a Siq is created by tectonics not water erosion? We approached The Treasury in daylight and again stood in awe. It was so different during the day. We then wandered for hours in this historic city filled with treasures, tombs and intricate carvings. Our final destination was The Monastery. We climbed hundreds of steps and all I could say when I turned the corner was “Wow.” It really made you feel so insignificant and miniscule compared to its scale. Now a few fun facts… Did you know that only 5% of Petra has been excavated? Did you also know that Petra was once home to over 20,000 inhabitants but no residential buildings have ever been found? Petra is AMAZING! Our last day in Jordan was spent at a castle, in a city, and in a village. Our first stop was Shobak Castle. Shobak was built in 1115 by the Crusaders. The castle complex was an entire town with a church, a jail, a school and much more. We then went to Amman which is the capital of Jordan and a blend of old and new. While we were there we visited the ancient Roman Theater, The Citadel and the Historical Museum. For dinner we shared one last mezze platter with our kind Jordanian friends and live music at a small local restaurant in a little village. Life doesn’t get any better. We all had tears in our eyes as we concluded this third leg of our world adventure. It has been the most incredible year and it is sooooo hard to imagine all the amazing people I have met and all the things I’ve done this year. Now we are off to Michigan to spend the holidays with all of my family. Merry Merry Christmas!!
BOOK NAME: Across Five Aprils
AUTHOR: Irene Hunt
9-year-old Jethro Creighton has lived on his father’s farm in southern Illinois his entire life. He is finally old enough to work on the farm and do his part to provide for the family. Jethro is proud to pitch in, and is extremely content with his boyhood. All seems peaceful to him, but underneath the placid mask lie turbulent times. The United States is being torn apart. Civil war seems just over the horizon.
Then the first shots ring out at Fort Sumter. The American Civil War has begun. As the men around him rally for war, Jethro doesn’t think much of the battle, just faraway gunfire on a faraway building. How could it possibly affect him?
As the battles rage on, his brothers begin to leave. Tom Creighton, John Creighton, and Jethro’s cousin Eb Carron, all leave to fight for the Union side. Jethro still doesn’t think much of war. His brothers will live; it will be the Southern Confederates, the enemy, who perish on the battlefield.
Then, Jethro’s favorite brother, Bill, quietly slips away to fight for the Confederacy, discreetly telling Jethro of his intentions. What if Bill is one of those Confederates who dies in battle? Could Bill die by another brother’s bullet, or will it be the other way around? How will a Union-favoring town react to the news of a Confederate in their midst? Most importantly, how long will the brutal war rage; will all of his brothers return home?
This book was not the greatest book I’ve ever read, but it certainly wasn’t the worst either. The storyline was a little dull. The beginning of the book, before the Civil War begins, is especially slow and boring to read. It does have its moments, especially during the war years. I found the recounts of the battles to be especially interesting. Still, there was one main characteristic of this book that I found somewhat annoying. To authenticate the Illinois setting, the characters speak with a drawl. All of the slang, improper grammar, and accented words made the dialogue difficult to understand. Still, if you like history, you should definitely give Across Five Aprils a try.
We flew into the Aman Airport and instantly the world felt more foreign. Everything was more gritty and exotic. Our days were packed with adventure. We visited some of the most amazing places I have ever been. Our first stop was Mount Nebo where Moses looked out to the Promised Land. Later we swam in the Dead Sea, the deepest spot on the face of the earth. The water is saltier than any ocean. Since there is so much salt you float to the surface. It is a feeling you have to experience to understand. While floating in the Dead Sea we could see all the way to Israel.
We visited Bethany and the River Jordan where Jesus was baptized. It is hard to put it into words how special it was. Knowing I was walking in the footsteps of our savior was truly unbelievable. Our final stop was the Ma’in Hot Springs. Playing in the waterfalls was a perfect way to end an unbelievable day. Hot water was spilling out of the rock cliffs above us and falling down our backs.
We began our second day at an orthodox church where a mosaic map dating back to 542 AD was discovered, the map was so accurate that it led to more archaeological discoveries all over the Middle East. Later in the day we hopped in our car with Arabian music blasting and drove to an eco lodge in the Arabian Desert. We went on a beautiful sunset hike and climbed to a peak amazing views that went on for miles. That night we gazed at the stars through and insanely good telescope. We saw Jupiter and its four moons, and a bunch of constellations. My favorite was Orion. The night sky was so incredible that we decided to sleep under the stars.
The next morning as the sun was rising we set out on a hike deep into the canyons. It could not have been any more stunning. There was even a natural rock that looked just like a tiger. Roar!
After our amazing candlelight days at the eco lodge we were off to the Red Sea to find some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world. We dropped our bags, ran to the beach and grabbed a snorkel and mask. There were hundreds of funky fish, urchins and all kinds of coral. The next morning we went on an underwater submarine boat to see even more of the fascinating fish and coral.
We even saw some garbage fish that weren’t exactly what we were hoping, but YOU can help stop this by saying NO to plastic! I just don’t know if anything could top this week, Jordan is full of so much history and adventure. I can’t wait until tomorrow … until next week, Aubrey.
Hi HOEC fans,
We’re sorry to report that there won’t be a 2013 Hands-On Explorer Challenge.
2013 is National Geographic’s 125th anniversary, so we’ll have lots of other fun projects and programs coming your way.
If you’re in 9th – 12th grade, you still have time to enter the student photo contest to win a prize to National Geographic Student Expedition London Photography Workshop. Otherwise, keep us posted about all your adventures by posting your pictures on My Shot.
Keep an eye on this space for announcements, contests, records, and ways you can help save animals and explore our planet!
This week we flew across the blue Mediterranean and onto the island of Cyprus. Can you imagine that Cyprus is in between the three continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia? Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Over 260 species of fish circle the warm Mediterranean waters around Cyprus, and most of them like to eat bananas. Everest tried to catch some but unfortunately even with bananas he didn’t have any luck.
We spent the week at a beautiful resort. There were all kinds of awesome activities. I worked on my tennis skills, but I still don’t have my stroke or my grunt down. We made mosaic Christmas cards in the craft center.
One afternoon we had fresh chocolates made by a chocolatier that has been making chocolate for years. He has even made a super healthy dark chocolate called Flava that is filled with antioxidants (tell your parents!). He told us that it helps keep your skin soft, maintains heart health, protects your brain, and keeps you young and fit. Wow. He was like something out of a story book with a jolly face and round tummy.
Another beautiful day we went into the mountains and visited an amazing waterfall and monastery. The monastery was gorgeous and full of tranquility. It was so quiet. We were up in the Troodos Mountains and you could hear every sound, from the monks praying to the birds chirping! One of the highlights of the week was visiting the birth place of Aphrodite. Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Aphrodite was said to have been the daughter of Zeus (god of the sky) and Dodna (mother goddess.) The Greek myth says that she rose from the sea at Petra tou Romiou in Pafo.
At the end of the week we took an adventure to the Turkish side of the island. Cyprus is split into two parts the North is part of Turkey and the South is part of Greece. Visiting Turkey was crazy; even though the two sides are right next to each other they are so different. Turkey felt more exotic and foreign. We had a fabulous time in Cyprus but now it’s off to another continent… Africa!
Geiá sou [hello], readers, guess where I was this week… Athens. Athens is full of history and culture. We started in Delphi, the center of the world. According to Greek mythology Zeus released two eagles at opposite ends of the world and they met in Delphi and that’s why they call it the center of the world. We also had the chance to see the stadium where the first Pan-Hellenic Pythian Games took place. These were only second in importance to the Olympics. When these games took place they didn’t wear anything except grape vines, phew… at least they wore clothes when we were at the Olympics in London. The winners at the Pythian Games were awarded with a palm tree twig or a wreath of laurels. After exploring the wonders of Delphi we drove south to Athens.
Our first day we went for a serendipitous wander through the soulful streets of Monastiraki. My mom bought a pair of Greek sandals from the same man who made sandals for John Lennon. We also visited… dun dun dun dunnnn… the Parthenon! It is just as amazing as it sounds. When you stand next to it you seem so insignificant, the pillars tower over you.
The Parthenon was built in honor of the goddess Athena, who the people of Athens considered to be their Patron. They started building the Parthenon in 447 B.C. and it was finished in 432 B.C. It has survived all kinds of wars, invasion, and natural disasters for over 20 century’s. Across from the Parthenon is the Acropolis museum. It is one of the most amazing museums I have ever seen, even though most of the pieces from the Parthenon are in the British museum.
Next to the Parthenon is the world’s first theater, built in honor of Dionysus. They performed dramas and comedies over 2,600 years ago. Only boys were allowed to act in the plays and they had to wear large masks so the people in the audience could clearly tell the part they were playing.
For Thanksgiving we visited friends that we met during our first world trip 8 years ago. They invited us to their home and cooked a super yummy turkey lunch that had us stuffed just like the turkey. We had a great time with Sophia, Melina and their mom and dad.
Our last day my dad and I did something super special, we went on a Segway tour through the city. They were super fast and super duper fun. We explored every nook and cranny. Our guide Pluto even took us to his favorite restaurant to have a look. It was so awesome we came back there for dinner. They had live music, people dancing on the tables and throwing plates on the ground “Oppa” and delicious traditional Greek food. Antío [goodbye], from Aubrey!
Hello readers! Guess where I was this week. You give up… okay I’ll tell you… this week we were on the Greek island of Skopelos where they filmed the movie Mamma Mia. The island was amazing and full of beauty. We woke up every morning gazing at the ocean. We toured the little island one day in an open top jeep and went to see many of the places where they filmed the movie. Have you ever seen Mamma Mia!? Mamma Mia! means a lot to me because I was in the play a couple of years ago and played the role of Donna.
Another day we hiked in fields of eight hundred year old olive trees and watched some local families make olive oil. First they pick the olives, then they remove the stems, then they cleaned them, then they mix them into a paste, and finally they separate the oil and the solids. After watching it being made we had to try some. We had it on everything from salads to bread. Greece is the third leading producer of olive oil in the world and it is delicious! Did you know you know that in Greek mythology Poseidon (God of the sea) and Athena (Goddess of wisdom) were in a battle over who would rule the city? Each god brought one gift to the people. Athena brought the olive tree and Poseidon brought the salty water of the sea. The people of the city chose the olive tree, the symbol of peace and named Athens the capitol city after Athena.
One evening we received a very special blessing from a priest at the church right above our house. The sun was setting over the Aegean Sea and the bells were ringing. He seemed like the grandfather to all the children in the town.
Later in the week we had our Friday Night Dance Night which is a tradition we’ve had in our family for a really long time. We put on funny hats, use kitchen utensils as microphones and dance around. We of course danced to the Mamma Mia! soundtrack this week. After all the crazy dancing we needed some Greek fuel so we set out for the local taverna. The food here has been amazing. Some of my favorites are saganaki (fried cheese) and tzatziki (cream yogurt with cucumbers.) We had a great time eating, dancing, and exploring Skopelos, but now it is time for one of the greatest history lessons ever, so we are off to Athens. Talk to you next week.
Hello, friends in cyberspace. What did you do this week? I was in Meteora, Greece. The word Meteora means “in mid-air.” There are monasteries that sit on top of these sheer, ancient, massive rocks that seem to hang mid air. We did some pretty awesome things while we were there. We visited all the monasteries and all the convents. There once were 24, now only six remain, four monasteries and two convents. They built them on top of the rocks to avoid invasion. My favorite was Great Meteoron. It is the biggest monastery in Meteora and in my opinion it was the most beautiful and moving.
Did you know the Greek word monk means alone? Since these monasteries were built on top of huge rocks they had to pull the monks and their supplies up in a basket. Luckily now there are stairs. When you reach the top you fell like you’re on the top of the world and could fly away. No, I didn’t try… AHHHHHHHHHH!
We didn’t try flying, but we did do something pretty crazy. With the help of our rock climbing guide Kostas; I put on my harness, tied up my shoes, and conquered one of the massive rocks. It was a little scary; OK a lot scary, but totally worth it. It was awesome. Everest even made it to the top. It was totally different from climbing a wall in a gym or other rocks I have climbed back home. Have you guys ever been rock climbing? If you have then you know how amazing it is. If you haven’t you should definitely give it a try. Well, that’s all for this week. Aubrey signing off!
After much observation and research, scientists have found some easy ways to make you feel happier. Make a difference! You’ll get an ego boost and feel better about yourself knowing you’ve done something nice for someone else. Or how about being nice to Mother Earth? By taking shorter showers, recycling, or organizing a clothing swap, you can help the planet and make a difference! Try making a change for the better in your community, school, or home. Then enjoy those happy feelings. Who knew being green could make everyone so much happier?
Photograph by LittleMissMagic, NG Kids My Shot
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Hey there readers, how’s it going? This week we were in Dihovo, Macedonia. After 18 months on the road we realize it’s not the places we go but the people we meet that make the journey special. This week we met some pretty fabulous people. The family that ran our bed and breakfast couldn’t have been any more hospitable, friendly and welcoming. We joined them for a traditional lunch one day and met every one from the great aunts to the second cousins. There were even two girls around my age Matea 11 and Alexandra 14. We had a great time together playing cards and eating ice cream. We also did tons of other fun things.
We went on an absolutely, positively, amazing hike in the Baba Mountains. When we got to the top it was pouring rain, we were sopping wet and the wind was howling, but that added to the awesomeness. Our guide taught us a lot about mushrooms and showed us which mushrooms were poisonous and which ones weren’t. If you eat one type of mushroom you will slowly die for two to three years.
Another day we visited the ancient ruins of Heraclea Lyncestis which was founded by Phillip II in 168 B.C. It is the remains of a roman village. There is an amphitheater, church, the foundation of many houses, and beautiful floor mosaics. We also visited the American corner in Bitola. There is a little library area were Americans can go and read. They also have activities and classes offered in English.
For Halloween many American children and some Macedonian children went trick or treating and to a party there. Our last day we went into town and explored the old bazaar which oddly enough was filled with new stuff. The market was full of fruits and vegetables. Apples are in season and so delicious that we decided to get a four pound bag of every kind you can imagine. Another week filled with amazing people and things. Ciao for now, Aubrey.
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