I forgot to mention that last Friday was Colin's birthday! So when he started the evening session here in Elbasan, we sang to him "Shume urime per ty", Happy Birthday to you, same tune just Albanian words!
The photo above is from Saturday morning showing some of the girl singers from Tirana and Elbasan.
They are increasingly using young people which is what we like to see, so here is Daniel from Librazhd
And this is Elizier, who is about 8 years old. She has an amazing ability to draw especially animals and make them look lifelike. Blerim, the man we rent our apartment from is a Christian and an artist and has her as a student and speaks highly of her gifting in one so young. She remembers details he says of how an animal should look, better than most adults.
Lunchtime on Saturday after Colin and Dave's sessions consisted of byrek, see below. It is filo pastry filled with either spinach, meat or cheese. When you have a good one, preferably home made, it is superb.
Here is Dave hard at work this time on the keyboard and not guitar!
After the Saturday session finished about 2.30, Liam and Colin and Dave set off in a forgon with some of the guys from Korca to go there, a 2.5 hour drive. I thought this would be good experience for them. They get to see another city where they have not been before, another church they have not been to before and opportunity to spend time with Edi and Artina who lead the church there and be with their musicians and singers. Edi gathered his guys for a session with Colin and Dave on Sunday morning and afternoon, with a short break for lunch. Liam spent time with the young people and with Edi talking through the Youth Camp in more detail, and Liam spoke to the church on Sunday evening. (Sorry I don't have the photos, they have them!)
On Monday the guys left Korca and headed for Elbasan but stopped off at Librazhd to meet some of the young people from the church there. (To those of you who have been to the Youth Camps Librazhd is the place with the rickety bridge across the river!) Dave and Liam know many of them from our Youth Camps. They had a great time catching up and looking forward to the next Camp. Then back home to Elbasan and a meal at the home of Ilir and Rudina who lead the church here. They live in an apartment on the 4th floor with their 3 girls, Sara, Eliada and Abigeila.
And so to this morning. After breakfast Liam and Dave caught a forgon for Tirana to meet up with Tani and some of the young people at the church there. Colin and I had a look round some of Elbasan, then lunch and it was time for farewells to Colin and see him on his way back to Tirana and then to the airport ready for the flight back to Gatwick and your cold wet weather. It is hard to think of it, when we have been enjoying 30C and blue sky.
It has been a brilliant time, and everyone has spoken so highly of Colin, Dave and Liam and what they have brought to the churches here. They have left an excellent legacy and I know will be welcomed back with open arms.
Ann and I have 2 more days here and then we too will head for home. We look forward to seeing you soon. All our love.