Last Friday Ann and I got a furgon, minibus, to Gjirokaster in southern Albania. We left Elbasan at midday and travelled for almost 4 hours for 1000 Lek each, about £6.50. We travelled to see Jorida Doce a young
woman we have known for 10 years. Jorida was a teenager when we first met, but has been to University and now is the manager of a Christian childrens home in that city. Here is Jorida with Ann. We think that she is
an outstanding young woman with leadership gifting. She wanted to come on our Academy a couple of years ago but was not granted a visa. We chatted at length about the small church she attends in Gjirokaster and the tasks she is being asked to do and her hopes and dreams for the future. As we talked we walked through the old town part of the city. Gjirokaster is known for three things in Albania. Firstly it is a city built entirely of stone, which is sometimes then covered in plaster. Not a brick or breeze block in sight. Stone walls, stone tiled roofs, roads made of cobblestones and NOTHING, I mean NOTHING is on the level. You either walk uphill or downhill, never on the flat. It is so steep in parts that you can literally fall over onto the roof of a house, roll down the roof onto the roof of another house and so on. Secondly it was home to the best known Albanian author Ismail Kadare. I have read a number of his books which I have found very helpful in understanding Albania. And thirdly, it was the birthplace of Enver Hoxha, the communist leader who ruled Albania for many years.
This is what some of the buildings and roads look like.