Dear Reader,

Hello.  It is good to take a minute for typing out my thoughts and sharing them at least with my computer.  I am in Skopje, Macedonia.  I arrived here at around 10PM local time.  I had booked a night at a hostel on Mother Teresa Avenue.  I gave the address to my taxi driver at the bus station and he said “OK, OK no problem, of course I know where this is.”  Made confident by his self-confidence I got in and he dropped me at a plaza, telling me to walk ahead maybe 30 meters and it would be on my right.  Around 30 meters later, I saw it: Memorial House of Mother Teresa.  This cobble-stone faced three-story structure built in the memory of Mother Teresa is beautiful.  This lovely house to the saintly Albanian woman is not, however, a hostel.  The security guard who works there, along with a friend of his, were able to get me sorted out, and I arrived safely at Urban Hostel at around 11PM.  

The people here are warm, friendly, kind, and cheerful.  They seem happy and I’ve noticed a rare empathy in the conversations I’ve shared.  Mostly, I am embarrassed because I don’t know any Macedonian words, and they in turn seem to be embarrassed with me.  I am finding this phenomena to be quite common.  As a result I feel an almost immediate kinship with the friendly faces I see around; it is quite remarkable.  

I found out this morning that I won’t be staying here another night because I need to be in Tirana sometime tomorrow and there is only one bus every-other day.  That bus departs Skopje at 7PM tonight.  I hope to make it back here sometime to spend more time with these people.  They’ve got a really great energy and the city seems alive and thriving.  Thank you for reading, and I wish you well.  Love,