The plane lurched one last time and touched down. The brakes wee slammed on and we began to stop and after nearly twenty hours of travel, we had touched down in Skopje, Macedonia. Now just three months before I was one of thirty two lucky students to be selected for Tempe Sister Cities, an exchange program built on the motto to build one friendship at a time. I had spent these past twenty hours sitting in airports and travelling on three different flights, with four other students I hardly knew. We were all about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, and the learning experience of a lifetime.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
As we step off the plane onto the runway, we see the name of the airport, "Alexander the Great Airport," on top of one building. We begin to follow the rest of the passangers to the doors. After getting through customs, we finally have the chance to meet our hosts, our new families. I instantly recognize Filip, my new brother. As I humbly walk over, his parents ruh forward to help carry my luggage and introduce themselves. After the brief introductions, the wisp me away to our home in the center of the city. For the next four weeks, I live like a Macedonian, and boy do I eat like one. Filip's father, Perdag, always told me that to be a man you had to weigh over two-hundred kilos. Well if that were the case, even combined Filip and i did not equal one man.
As the weeks passed, I began to view them less as hosts, and more of my family. They treated me like a son. Looked out for me, taught me, laughed with me, and were always there for whatever i needed. They took me to see Ohrid, the most beautiful lake in the world. Yet, when Filip and I wanted to be left alone, they would give us all the space in the world. Every night before we went out, Perdag would tell us to "go in life. " After the third time i heard it, i finally asked what it meant. He looked stunned and responded "what? is that no english saying?" I laughed a little and said no, it is not an english saying. He than proceeded to explain the meaning of it in Macedonian (yet through his broken english to this day i still do not know the proper translation.) Yet now that i am back in America, every time i step out of my house i think to myself, "go in life."
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