Tuesday, 9 July 2013


After teaching Discovery Workshop, then lunch and a rest, we went to see a family Ann and I have known and kept contact with ever since our first visit here to Elbasan. The father in the centre of the photo is Arti with his two daughters Elsa on the left and Era. Mum, Vali, was very sad as she had just had her eldest brother die, and she didn't want her photo taken. Visits such as this one, mean we have the obligatory Turkish coffee with a glass of raki.
Both daughters are at University in Tirana, Elsa studying drama and Era is doing a Masters in finance.

Ida has been taking a look at the local costumes that are available. To get a good one is very difficult it seems. Most towns and villages have their own design, and are often owned by a cultural or dance organisations that you hire them from for weddings etc. The very best are hand made at home.

Time again to eat. This is inside the walls of the Turkish fort where we often come. It is a popular place to have coffee, socialise, have weddings and school proms. Ann's meal tonight was veal steak and chips, with a healthy salad of course!

The visit to Arti and Vali's with Ida led to an invitation to visit Arti's mother. Ann and I had been once before several years ago. She is a sprightly 71 year old who has a one storey house with a cellar and large garden.

She has a garden full of lemon trees that she waters each day early in the morning. The lemons are sold to hotels and restaurants. Between the trees are rose bushes of many colours and herbs like dill, thyme and oregano growing wild giving the whole garden a wonderful scent.
Friendships are always important and non more so than in Albania. Arti has lived in Elbasan all his life and seems to know everybody. Keeping contact is more than just thoroughly enjoyable. Not to do so would be seen as a serious snub.
Tomorrow we are up early and off to Youth Camp with the group from Elbasan.

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