Orientation was two days long and involved a little bit of everything. They had to try and fit language training, cross cultural information, how and where to use leke, going over medical issues and immunizations and almost every other subject you can think of. It was a busy 2 1/2 days. We stayed at a hotel in Elbasan and it provided group 16 some time to get to know each other. We had all of our meals at the hotel and it was my first glimpse into the cuisine eaten by Albanians. There is a lot of salt and a lot of oil but also a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables.
A few things I have noticed so far:
-Albanian women are dressed to impress. They are fashionable and seem to always have their hair and make up done. I am hoping I brought enough dress clothes.
-It is COLD in your room or house. The lack of insulation and central heating makes a huge difference even though we are on the tail end of winter. I am so glad I brought wool socks and my long underwear. Perfect for sleeping!
– Albanians like their salt and oil. And pop, no pop for me at breakfast thank you.
-Peace Corps staff here are AMAZING.
-The lack of a shower curtain. I knew this before coming here but I do not understand the concept of having no shower curtain. It is messy and makes it near impossible to keep your bathroom clean. Which is why I am glad I brought my Keen rubber bottomed slippers. Keeps your feet dry after your bathroom floor is soaked from taking a shower. I am learning.
-Albania is a BEAUTIFUL country. I can’t wait to explore more of the mountains, rivers, beach and everywhere in between.