Monday, 23 April 2012

Lydia and Gita in Albania

 What seems like ages ago, but is only last Thursday, Lydia and Gita and Ann and I left Gatwick bound for Albania.  Lydia and Gita are here to help several churches develop their work amongst children.  First in our time here was meeting the Roma children that Shaban and Elvira work with from their church in Tirana.  Lydia introduced them to games with her multi coloured parachute.  We played these indoors as it was pouring with rain outside.  As you can see the kids loved it!  A quantity of materials were left with the leaders for their use with the children.

 Here is a photo of Lydia and Gita with the children present on that day.  Numbers vary quite a bit, but they are taught to read and write, fed and helped with clothing and they also hear  the news of Gods love for them through Jesus.

 And before we left they had a time to pray with the leaders of the work with the Roma children.
Then it was time to catch a minibus to Elbasan.  After leaving our things in the apartment in Elbasan we were ready to eat, so fast food was the order of the day,

 which went down well with Lydia and Gita!  Then the task of getting our food from the supermarket for the next few days, and settling in ready for the gathering of children's workers on Saturday. We had an evening meal with Ilir and Rudina who lead the church in Elbasan, to catch up with them and hear how their church is doing and learn of their expectations for the next day.

 Children's workers came from Elbasan, Librazhd and Korca, which is almost 3 hours journey away.  Here are 3 of the leaders from Elbasan, Adiana, Yeta and Blerina taking it all in.  What Lydia and Gita had to say was a great encouragement to the childrens workers.  Gita was able to speak about her experiences of running childrens work in a country that also has little money and not many resources readily available.

 After a busy day we had an evening meal.  The roses seemed a good foreground for a picture of Gita.

 Sunday morning was time for the children's work to be put into practise as Lydia and Gita spent time with the children whilst I spoke to the increasing numbers of people being gathered in the church.

 On the Saturday evening Gita ordered prawns, but was surprised when they came all displayed like this.  All quite a cultural change for Gita who is from Lithuania. 

 This photo is of the time Lydia and Gita had on Sunday morning again with the parachute.  The Elbasan church have a large basement where the children gather, ideal in the hot summers but very very cold in winter.

 All the activities were interspersed with cups of coffee. Here is one venue they like at Divina, a revolving  coffee bar high above the city of Elbasan and a place that commands wonderful views of the surrounding mountains that are still covered with snow.

 On Sunday evening we had a lovely ,meal at the home of Ilir and Rudina, the church leaders. 
On Monday it was time to show Gita and Lydia some of the sights of Elbasan.  These include the Ethnographic Museum, which may sound tiresome, but it is in an old Ottoman house with a beautiful balcony and with rooms decorated as they would have been in times past.  It is a good introduction to Turkish Muslim culture that has prevailed here for almost 500 years.

 Here they both are on the via Egnatia, the old Roman road from Rome to Constantinople (Istanbul), that runs through the centre of Elbasan.  We then toured the old town that is encompassed by the walls of the former Turkish fort.  The electrics leave a bit to be desired, but this are is home to the oldest Orthodox Church in Elbasan and to the oldest Mosque.

 Being with 3 women is very different to being with the guys, Colin, Dave and Liam who will come out this coming Thursday.  The girls are shoppers!! We seldom walk straight pass a shoe shop or clothes shop!

 Finaly, for the moment, here is a photo of the refurbished Skampa Theatre.  It was very badly damaged by fire just after our concert there last year.  Nothing to do with us of course!  But it has been very wonderfully and beautifully restored.  We send our love from us all and we look forwarsd to seeing Colin and Liam and Dave here in 3 days time.  Tomorrow it is time for Lydia and Gita to pack their bags, travel back to Tirana and fly home, their wonderful work well done!

1 comment:

  1. hello fab to read the blog again and get a taste of your fab for Lydia and Gita to be there and hope when the guys get over you have same male company Ken....