August 10, 2006

foogons, apartments and internet cafe's

My friend Catherine emailed the other day asking for more news of what life is like out here for me - she said it all seemed to be jumping on foogons (the minibuses that take you anywhere you want to go!) looking for apartments in the hot sun and being in the internet cafe's! That's quite funny and not too far off the truth! It's early days yet. I've been doing some reading about Albania - practicing my language everyday with people I meet - and there are always people here - its a bustling place, people are out and about - children, adults, old people altogether, walking, talking, going about their businesses. I've made friends with a family down the road from me - Maria and her four children. They love Jesus and talk about him all the time. I went round to theirs for lunch last sunday after church and they laughed at me because I didn't know when the right time to go or stay was - so ended up wandering in and out of the house while they did their work - like washing the floor or hanging up the laundry. I asked them - "oh, is it time for you to sleep?" Thinking I could find out when they wanted to have their rest, and then I would leave - and they laughed saying "do you want to sleep!" and began making a bed for me to sleep in! I decided I would wish them well and go home. They were lovely! I have made friends with Vera and her two children, today I went to tell them I am going to move to Shkodra. I sat out with them on their veranda and drank turkish coffee with them while it rained and rained outside. It was really nice. I think we will stay friends and I can phone and see how they are all doing. I gave Vera a little card with the verse Isaiah 41:10. She seemed to treasure it. So all in all - life is made rich by the beginnings of relationships here and otherwise looking for apartments - going in and out of Tirana on foogons and getting to internet cafes to set up a good way of keeping in touch with people back home. I just sent out my first prayer letter - and realised the font is different on different computers - so it won't come out all nice and in place as the original - but a bit all over the place! Oh well - as the Muslims say - "only allah is perfect!"

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