Friday, August 10, 2007


Here at least twice a day (during the 2 power outages), the neighbor ladies go out and sit on the couch in the alley. Really it's our small road that dead ends into our place. We have probably 10 families that live on this rruga/road. The couch is covered during the rain with plastic and taken inside during the cold winter is a very important piece of community here for the neighbors ladies.

Well, I have been trying to go out to "talk" with them once a day so as to help me learn more and more language. But, also to learn about them and their families. It is so funny to try to talk and explain things to them that they don't know peanut butter and Crisco! We have lots of laughs at my many blunders and all I can do is keep at it and hope to improve.

Having indoor cats or dogs here is not very popular. Many Albanians are afraid of dogs. The ones they see & fear are the street mutts who travel in groups and hang around the garbage dumpsters and empty lots. Thankfully, one of my neighbors loves animals! She has a dog and a cat! So I immediately took to her. She has a big heart for animals like we do.

So now you can picture me out on the couch in the alley with the 2-5 women (middle age to widows) trying to explain peanut butter as we sit and eat grapes off the vines over their homes. It sounds so relaxing, doesn't it? But, when I can excuse myself and make it up the stairs to our floor, I am drained. This language learning will just take it out of you! Rest up for tomorrow!

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