Hello! It’s been a while since I have blogged! Here I will attempt to give you a bit of insight into my life here, and some of the things that make this place unique. Enjoy!
- COMMON SIGHTS:
- People walking arm-in-arm down the sidewalk. Sometimes this is two women, but also not uncommon to be two men. Nothing is assumed other than a high level of comradery. I love it!
- Old men riding bikes.
- Small tractors driving through town, or sometimes even horse-drawn platforms from the villages piled with wood to be delivered.
- Cows wandering through town. This one is my favorite! Sometimes they are around my house, or found in traffic circles, or waltzing down the street. They all belong to someone but have the freedom to roam!
- MOUNTAINS. All around this city. A different view from each part of the city. I never cease to be awe-struck by our God’s incredible creation!
- Stray dogs/cats picking through garbage or strutting the streets.
- Food labels with 3 or more languages on them- sometimes up to 8, or more! Welcome to Europe! 🙂
- Beggars in the marketplace, usually women or children.
- Unfinished buildings with bare bricks exposed.
- COMMON SOUNDS:
- The neighbor’s chickens- cooing, clucking, and cock-a-doodle-dooing sporadically throughout the day and early morning.
- The Call to Worship from all the Mosques in the city at their appointed times through the day. One will start, and then all others follow, chiming in and combining together in chorus. (Sometimes the dogs join in, too!)
- Occasionally I can hear the church bells from the one Catholic Church across town.
- “Ku-ku!” A common expression of disbelief, frustration, or surprise. I’ve been quick to use it as well! (It’s so fun!)
- Lots of Albanian, though some English, too. Many youth and students will know at least some English, and some are very fluent!
- COMMON TASTES/FOOD:
- Pizza, pasta, rice, bread at every restaurant. Embrace the carbs!
- A rice/bread/chicken meal costing only $3-5!
- BREAD- a staple here. And when the bakeries sell it for only $0.50, how can it not be? And it’s delicious! Every restaurant will give bread with their meal, and each place is different. So good.
- Shelf-milk. You learn to love it!
- So much coffee. So much tea. Every third shop is a coffee shop and they are full all day long. Macchiatos are the thing to get here, though I don’t drink coffee so I default to tea. At people’s homes, they serve a special coffee and tea, and sometimes we will have 3 or more glasses. It’s intense, but so good!
- Peppers- another staple! Pickled, preserved with cheese, made into a paste, you name it!
- COMMON FEELINGS/TOUCHES? 🙂 :
- Burns on my hands and fingers from my stove/fire.
- Kisses/cheek taps for greetings, especially between women. To men we usually just shake hands.
- Contrast between the heated room in my apartment and all the other un-heated rooms, especially in the winter! There’s no idling in the bathroom! 😛
- COMMON SMELLS:
- Smoke. From fires, or from cigarettes. Wood fires are used to heat most buildings here, and with fire comes smoke! (The amount of times I’ve thought to myself “Good thing they don’t have fire alarms here”. 😛 ) Also smoking is incredibly common, and basically everywhere. In homes, restaurants, I even went to a basketball game and they were all smoking in the gym! Different than Canada for sure!
- Once again, BREAD. Wafting from bakeries or in restaurants before your meal… mmmm!!
- Toilet paper- here you can find it coloured, or scented, or both! Blue, pink, camomile, rose, peach… it’s kind of fun!
I’m doing well and enjoying my time here. I have only 5 weeks left before I move on from here and meet up with my team again- crazy! Please pray for focus, motivation, and intentionality in these last weeks, and that I would continue to be open to God and what He wants to do in and through me. Please also pray for the people here, that they would get the chance to hear Truth, and have the boldness and desire to embrace it!
Thank you again for your support- through prayer, finances, messages, etc! It means the world to me. I am doing pretty well financially. It’s hard to know exactly how much I will need due to the nature of life here and our last month of travelling, but if you would like to donate feel free! You can do so HERE, under GlobeTREK 2017 and with my name in the comments. If I don’t end up needing the money, it will go to another of my teammates, so will be well invested! 🙂
Thank you all again. It’s crazy to think that I will be seeing many of you again in just a couple of months! If you ever want to chat or have any questions for me, feel free to contact me via facebook or email! (Karla.firstname.lastname@example.org)
“The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14
God is good. May He be your Strength and Song in each step of your life, and your Saviour forever.
Much love! Karla ❤