Meet my friend Marija. I met Marija through volunteering at the American Corner in Štip. American Corners promote United States’ culture within other countries. Marija is originally from Macedonia, but speaks English very well. She works hard to plan activities to share American culture with people living in Štip.
What is your full name?
Names are a little different in Macedonia from names in the United States. People in Macedonia do not usually have middle names. One interesting fact about last names in Macedonia is that they are related to people’s origins. For example, Marija’s last name, Gorgieva, comes from her great-great-grandfather. His name was Gorgi.
Where do you live? What is your house like?
Marija lives in Kochani, Macedonia. She shares a house with her mother, father, brother, sister-in-law and her nephew. They have two floors on their house. The first floor is more of a storage area. On the second floor there are three bedrooms, a bathroom and a hall.
What is your family like?
Both of Marija’s parents have taught first to fifth-grade students for more than 35 years. Marija’s brother works in a textile company and her sister-in-law stays home to take care of her nephew, Marco. Marco is one year and four months.
How do you get around?
“It’s not easy to travel back and forth using public transportation. It saves money but not time,” Marija told me. Marija travels between Kochani and Štip every day. This is about two hours of travel by bus for each day of the work week.
What types of clothing do you like to wear?
“It depends on the occasion.” I can tell you that Marija loves scarves though. In fact, she told me she owns over fifty different scarves! This allows her to have a scarf for every occasion. Whether it’s a warm, thick winter scarf or a light, colorful spring scarf, you’ll often see Marija wrapped up in one of her beautiful accessories.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Marija doesn’t have a lot of free time because her job keeps her pretty busy, but she loves to travel. She also enjoys going out for coffee with friends.
What language(s) do you speak? How do you say “Hello” in your language?
Marija speaks Macedonian and English. Здраво is Macedonian for “hello”.
Do you have pets?
Have you traveled? Where have you traveled to?
Marija has traveled a lot! Below is a list of the places she has visited. Can you find these on the map?
Prague, Czech Republic
New York City, U.S.A.
What do you do for work?
Marija is the American Corner Coordinator in Štip. She organizes events and activities for the American Corner and builds relationships with Americans working with the Peace Corp and other programs to promote American culture in Macedonia.
Is there anything else you would like to say to students in the United States?
“Travel more,” Marija told me. “There are so many things to see even right in the States.” Marija wants to encourage students to get out and see the world. One piece of advice she gave me to pass on is to look for exchange programs when you are in high school or college. It will be an opportunity of a lifetime! I have to agree with her.