Well here we are all loaded up in the new minibus and ready for the off to Gatwick Airport. If it is not packed now it is too late! I almost lost count of the number of guitars we brought out here. Enough for the band plus 3 others for the church in Librazhd and one for Edi in Korca. Plus cymbals and when we arrived at the airport in Albania we added to our kit a keyboard and a mixing desk! We don't travel light. For some reason Ann and I were upgraded on the flight to Club Class. So we had the use of the Club Lounge and a wonderful meal and service on the flight. Some of you will know Ann is coeliac and for the first time she had a meal she could eat! But when we got off the plane in Tirana, we were met with a wall of heat!! I know it is coming but I still find it hard to believe it until you stand the top of the steps as you get off the plane and suddenly you are engulfed in the unrelenting heat.
It was really great to be greeted by Ilir from Librazhd who was there with Elmaz our minibus driver.
This is unloading at Gatwick.
After a 2 hour drive from Tirana to Elbasan we left the guys in their apartment and then Ann and me and the 3 girls went to a local hotel. We chose it because the bedrooms are air conditioned. Finally we got to bed at 1.30 am! Everyone must have slept okay as here are Dave, Stuart and Liam looking pretty okay this morning after breakfast..
and here are the girls Heather, Amy and Natalie
I called in on our friends Arti and Vali who insisted I had a glass of raki and a Turkish coffee, this is before breakfast! I went to meet Elsa, above, who has helped us advertise the concert we are holding tonight. She is phoning the radio station she runs a programme for and they agreed straightaway for Lee and some of the team to go and be interviewed live and to play some music. That is happening now as I write this blog.
Ann has just boiled herself an egg for breakfast with Sam..
and this is the theatre where we hold the concert tonight at 7pm. I am looking forward to an amazing time. Elbasan will have had nothing like this before, and I am thinking about all the good conversations and impact I am sure the team will have tonight and the life changing event it will be.
And here are some of the posters about the city that advertise the concert. Thank you Sarah! Now it's lunchtime and then time to rest from the heat a bit and talk through the programme for this evening. We'll keep you posted. It is so good to be here again in Albania! All our love, Ken and Ann
Some of the varied Books I've read recently in no particular order....
The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. Another one of those books I wish I could have read 20 years ago. Excellent about how to achieve organisational health.
The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware. very helpful in helping to understand Orthodox history and thinking. The Orthodox Church is the main church in Serbia and Macedonia.
Austria-Hungary and the orgins of the first world war. Helps with the historical background to the Balkans. The Powers at work then are still at work today, politically, economically. Samuel R Williamson Jr
Bradt Guide to Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia etc (excellent and sometimes the only guides avaiable for lesser known countries)
Jesus through Middle Eastern eyes. Opened my eyes to see the Gospels in a new way. Kenneth E Bailey