that's our james

Disclaimer: This is my blog. No one else's. This is what I think about stuff. If others think the same thing, it's up to them to express it. The sole purpose of my writings is to keep my friends and family informed. My opinions are just that, opinions so don't get to worked up if something offends you. Thanks.

17 April 2006

and the beat goes on...

now what was i saying?
Oh yeah, my visit to small town Shqiperi (Albania). I had to abandon my previous post because I got a call that the bus was waiting for us. Let the journey begin.

I am in Krutje, a small town near Fier if you want to find it on the map or if you are familiar with Albanian geography.

I am visiting Mat, a current volunteer. He runs a telecommunications co-op, which is convenient because I have private access to the only internet connection in the area. Score!

Krutje is nice. The people are really friendly. We visited an Orthodox church built in the 1300's. The interior still had most of the original frescoes. Again, Score! There's not too much to do here but there are two different places with ping-pong tables, and they're in better shape than Nick's luckily. What else would I need? In fact, we're suppose to go play some ping-pong after this. Good thing I stepped up my game. And I was worried that they wouldn't have ping pong at all. Did I mention that I am the undefeated champ in my training town of Peqin (Pay-cheen)? And loser pays so I'm loving it.

As far as PC stuff goes, the language is progressing. We learned how to do plurals of definite and indefinite nouns in the nomative case. Did you follow that? No? Me either :) Basically, in Albanian, a noun can have six different endings. Yeah, good times. Oh and we still haven't learned past tense. Jealous? I've decided to create my own country and in my language, I will have gender-nuetral words and verbs that don't need to be conjugated. I will keep the whole the noun comes before the adjective thing cuz that makes sense.
Next week, I think we learn where our permanent sites will be. I'm a little nervous. I REALLY don't want to be in the north. I like it hot. There's a rumor that they are trying to place more of us in the north and rural areas. I know I said I'd go anywhere but I meant anywhere that had good internet and cafes and a cinema. Oh and I need to be within an hour of the beach. Is that too much too ask???

I had first experience with traveling in Alb. the road was narrow and decently paved. still it took over three hours to go what was prolly 75 miles. and the kicker? we were traveling on main roads. OMG.

all right, ping pong is calling my name.


16 April 2006

Ok, Bring it!

In about 20 minutes, I get on a bus to travel to a small town in south central ALB. This should be fun. The visit was arranged by PC so I asked to visit a volunteer in a small village. I wanted to see how it might be different than the city of 9,000 people I live in right now.

07 April 2006

the basics

So I have no idea where to start. How do I explain my experiences thus far in a totally different culture? Let’s start with the basics.
Food? Check. I get plenty of it. Plus since I am living with a family, I don’t even have to cook it. The produce is really good. My host mother makes this really good soup out of stewed tomatoes and peppers or something like that. All I know is that it’s tasty.
Water? Check. Now I’m definitely not drinking as much as I was before I left but that might be a good thing. My bladder probably appreciates its lightened work load. I used to drink water like it was going out of style and apparently, in Albania, it has gone out of style. Part of the decreased water consumption is my schedule and the lack of water fountains. It is available just I have to make a point of drinking it. The water is clean so that’s a plus. The Peace Corps supplied us with a water filter and I have used it once. The only reason I used it was because I think I am drinking my host family out of house and home. The other night they asked if I wanted Sprite or Coke (ok, maybe it’s not a totally different culture). When I replied that I wanted water, the daughter asked why, as if no one in their right mind would ever chose water. What can I say, we Americans are good at drinking water.
Shelter? Mos def (most definitely for you non-abbreviation fiends) check. My room here is nicer than in the States. The house is nicely furnished with high ceilings in all the rooms. The yard is gorgeous. Purple flowers line the walk from the gate to the steps of the house with a variety of citrus trees scattered throughout the rest of the yard. Oh and the necessities are covered nicely too. The bathroom has a western toilet and plumbing that can handle toilet paper (apparently not all plumbing can, who knew), a bathtub, a shower, and plenty of hot water and water pressure.

Mirupafshim, good bye if you hadn’t guessed. I know some other words too after studying the language for two weeks. Une jam shume zgjuar ( I am very clever) :)

06 April 2006

this is a test, this is only a test

Well would you look at this. I've joined the blogging community.

I have been in Albania for two weeks today. OMG. Two weeks??? It seems so much longer. So much has happened.

So not too much new here. Just kidding :)

I'll give a real post later.

Peace out