Monthly Archives: November 2006

80’s Music

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I am a child of the 80’s. And music was our thing. We had great music, musicians, and groups to listen to and coming to Albania is like going back in time! Robert and I had lunch today at a qofta place we like (little sausages) and listened to 80’s music. Lady in Red is alive and well. See the video. It is pretty weird to hear music in English all over Albania and to have it as background music to just about everything we do!

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Thanksgiving Day in Albania

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Well we were not sure what to expect for Thanksgiving Day in Albania… but we gathered with American friends both from our Frontiers team and others from the OKC area. The boys were off school for two days. Despite the fact that it is an international school, over half of the students and teachers are Americans so they do take the days off for Thanksgiving. We gathered at the home of Jack and Susanna Dabney, another couple from OKC.

We had TWO turkeys (they were pretty small) and ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie cake for dessert. There were a few other things on the menu as well…. too many to name. I guess no matter what country you are in you end up stuffing yourself on Thanksgiving Day. I volunteered to make Green Bean Casserole- from scratch! This continues to be my biggest adventure: figuring out how to translate an easy recipe into a new classic here in Albania. I made a white sauce with mushroom bouillon (Mom… the sauce recipes are great and a huge time saver!) for the can of cream of mushroom soup and we hand sliced onions and fried them in a skillet to replace the French’s fried onions. Well it took a lot longer but it was yummy.

Our favorite time was after the meal, sitting around the table and sharing stories. We laughed a lot and enjoyed hearing fun things about all the people with whom we are here in ministry. Favorites that we shared: Beki Grissom’s story about the HS girls Basketball team killing a deer with the bus on the way to the game. They threw it in the back of the bus. “We can’t leave that here… that’s good meat!” Also well appreciated was the story about my Grandpa Watkins (he’ll be 95 years old this December) and the family of skunks that lived under their house a few years ago. They could not get rid of them so Grandpa sat in the yard in his lawn chair with his shot gun, patiently waiting for them to come out. This sounds cruel until you think about how the house smelled…. hmmm.
Anyway… it was a great day and we really enjoyed taking the day off. And it was nice that all the stores in town were open! 🙂

CHINA …. we are getting closer!

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Well, the month of October closed with us no closer to going to China than we were last month. There were NO referrals from China for any agencies in the US in the whole month. We were so disappointed because we thoguth surely if there are at least some referrals this month we would be in the next group at the end of November. The referral will be a picture of our daughter and her medical file. Families usually receive these about 7-9 weeks before they travel to China to pick up their child. BUT IN A GREAT MIRACLE… China updated their referrals TODAY and sent out 16 days of logins from August of 2005. They have made referrals up through August 25th, 2005. Our login date was August 30th! That means we will be in the next group! God willing, we will receive the referral at the end of NOVEMBER and travel to China sometime in late January or early February.

Persimmons!

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We have four kinds of fruit trees in our yard. Mandarins, sweet lemons, lemons and persimmons. I had never heard of persimmons but apparently they grow in Indiana and other parts of the upper mid-west. Here I am not-so-affectionately calling them the slime bombs. We have a tree that is in one corner of the yard and has started to drop the over-ripe fruits to the ground in a mass of sticky slimey goo. They drop just outside of my kitchen window (which has no screen) attracting a wonderful variety of flies and other bugs. Hmmm…

Albanians love these fruits. You can pick them when they are still hard and if they have developed enough black seeds at the time they were picked they are decent to eat, otherwise they suck all the spit right out of your mouth (really)! Sunday our landlord Zemani came over with a ladder to pick the fruit from the tree for both his family and ours. He picked at least 20 of the really ripe ones (just about ready to become slime bombs) and gave them to me. These are like jelly inside, Albanians (I’m told) scoop it out and eat it with a spoon. Now mind you, he speaks no English and I speak “pak Shqip” (little Albanian). So what exactly am I supposed to do with 20 ripe “hurma” (persimmons)? Then he gave us another bag of the not yet ripe hurma and gave us a bag of about 30-35 of these. He took at least as many for himself and still left HUNDREDS on the tree.

I had coffee with Sue on Monday and told her the saga and “what am I going to do with all these hurma?!! She told me that I could find a recipe for Persimmon Bread by looking online at allrecipes.com (Sherri, this has become one of my favorite sites!). You just do an ingredient search and it came up with 25 recipes of things to make with persimmons! So we tested out the Persimmon Bread…. tasty treat!