Previously in Albania

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The washing machine escapades- So we bought our appliances all at one store: refrigerator, stove (3 gas burners and 1 electric), washer (front loader), dryer and microwave. We bought from the Neptune Store in the mall (similar to Best Buy- sales people spoke very good English) because there was a significant warranty on most of the items and we caught a good sale. So everything was delivered to our house for a delivery price of $10. We set the washer up in the laundry room and I put in my first load! It sets the timer for 2.5 hours of washing! (I have since discovered other settings but WOW- no wonder the clothes are really clean) So 2 hours later there is an awful knocking sound from the laundry room. I run in to find the washing machine moving around like a possessed robot. We tried to level it to see if that was the problem to no avail. I finally gave up after calling a couple other missionaries and Sue came over to loan us a level.

Saturday morning Sue stopped by after having her hair cut at the hairdresser by our house. We were up, but I had not yet unlocked the doors ( they lock with keys from inside) and so we are talking through the bars of the window while I am fumbling for the keys. Sue finally told me not to worry about keys, this would make great newsletter material. The hair dresser was asking if Sue knew us (everyone knows the Americans have moved into the neighborhood) and how things were going. Sue explained about the washing machine problem. The hairdresser had the same problem with her new washer and had to call a repair man to help her with the same problem. The repair man came out and removed the “transit bolts” that hold the drum in place for transport. I looked in the manual, there it is… STEP 1: REMOVE TRANSIT BOLTS. Lesson learned: read the instructions. Next time, read them before 4 days of violent shaking of the washing machine.

Austin and Tyler’s first Albanian friend Monday, Sept 25

Today a young boy was out in the street in front of our house. He’s about 8 years old and Austin and Tyler invited him in to the obor (courtyard) to play. Hi name is Klisee. So the boys played soccer with him until he had to go home. This really made them want to know a few Albania words which was great because their first language lesson is with Herta tomorrow! You can see pictures on our website www.journeytoalbania.com.

Met with Austin’s teacher- Friday, Sept 29

Austin is not settling into Kindergarten as well as we all might have hoped. He had a pretty rough day on Thursday of last week. He got angry with 2 teachers during recess, pulled Tyler’s leg out from under him, threatened another little girl with scissors, and got up and left his table and seat during activity time. Hmmm. Sounds like our active little boys doesn’t he? We met with Mrs. Brunner and are going to try several motivational things to see if we can help him improve his behavior. He came home today with a GREEN DOT! YEAH…. This means he had a great day and really was able to follow the rules with a few reminders. So we KNOW he can do it.

Happenings of the week Oct 1, 2006

Things not to do on a Sunday… shop. More than half the market was closed as was the EHW (meat store). This meant changing the dinner plan slightly (Von and his kids were coming for dinner- Sue is in Ireland) and sending Robert out in search of cheese and hour before dinner. He did meet with success after trying 2 or 3 places. 🙂

Shopping for meat- Well this continues to be an experience. We buy meat by the kilo. A kilo = 2.2 lb. So today I bought 2 kilos of hamburger meat, sliced ham (this is the only “lunch meat” available), pork chops, and some little mini hotdogs that the boys like. My freezer is now stocked (I hope) for the rest of the month. I also am working on finding out where I can buy kosh pule (Chicken leg quarters). I have not been able to find any yet but I know they are out there!

Had Albanian kids to our house. We have some neighbor hood kids who come over want to try out their English and our Albanian. Eraldo is about 11 or 12, Ermal is about 12 and Antela is about 15 or 16. So they come in and we show them all the new words we have learned by pointing and saying the few vocabulary words we know. They are fascinated with our computer and piano. Antela had never used a computer before. I am not really sure how school works. I know Eraldo and Ermal go to school from 8am to 1pm. But then I am not sure if they go back for a later part in the day or if that is it. There are kids on the streets at all times of the day so school must be either in shifts or have different hours for different schools. Antela also wanted to know if she could come and photocopy her books for school on our printer/copier. Well finding a way to say no that is culturally appropriate and with limited language was a problem! Eventually I was able to communicate that it was for business.

Youth group kids here on Sat night for poker- We had about 5 MKs (missionary kids) here Saturday night after church for pizza and poker. Just a little Texas Hold ‘Em. This group of MKs have a lot to offer. They are fun and quirky… just like every teenager I have ever known. We hope to make a game night or some other gathering at our house a regular event. They all seemed to have a great time and we enjoyed having them here.

GREAT LANGUAGE ACHIEVEMENT

So the other day I was walking to pick up the boys from the school bus. I met Adella, a youth from the church who lives in our neighborhood walking with her mother, whom I have never met. I greeted them (in Albanian), asked how they were, and then said goodbye. These are the phrases I am getting down well. At church on Saturday, Adella came up to me and told me that her mother could not believe that I was an American who had only been here a few weeks because she thought I was surely Albanian, I had no accent! WHEW…. What an achievement for those 10 words that I know!

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