My basic Shqip Vocabulary up until this point= yo (no), po (yes), mire (good), faleminderit (thank you), miredita (good afternoon), mirembrema (good evening), a few random fruits/ food items/ beverages, and that about sums it up.
Saturday was the dreaded/ excited time of meeting your host family for the first time. The PC split us into groups of 5-6 people based on our sector. The health educators were scatter around in Pajove, Bishqem, and Kuqan. I was placed in Pajove with 4 other volunteers. On our drive there we were all starting to get nervous and I was getting ready to be dropped of first. Of course. Ugh.
We drive up to my host families house and I am greeted by my host grandma- who is awesome by the way. She looks like she is straight out of a picture book when you might think of an Albanian grandmother. My house has a gas station in the front yard which is owned by my family. There are orange trees in my yard and chickens running around. My host family consists of a grandma and grandpa, their son and his wife and also their three children. The kids are 15, 14, and 7 and I am lucky that the 14 year old girl speaks some English.
As soon as I am dropped off and I get my bags into the house I am ushered into a sitting room where the daughter brings in some treats and we all sit there and “talk” while I smile and listen to Albanian conversation. And then I smile some more and we all laugh even though I am not sure what is going on. The language barrior is awkward but my family is so nice and you can tell they are trying to make me feel at home. Before supper I was able to unpack a bit and get out my host family gifts.
For supper we had chicken soup with potatoes, penne pasta served community style and bread. Albanians love their bread and I think the grandma is skeptical of me for not eating three large pieces at every meal. They also asked me what I wanted for breakfast the next morning and I thought my safest answer was fruit so I went with fruit and/or eggs.
The next morning I came downstairs to three large pieces of bread, a jar of nutella, a cup of milk, two hard boiled eggs and jam. I was quite surprised to see that they had nutella but I politely declined in my broken ship and had an orange and an apple. If I start eating their nutella and bread at each meal I don’t think my pants will fit much longer!!
I spent the day exploring the town and playing Pictionary with my 7 year old sister. We are teaching each other simple Albanian and English words. Tomorrow I start my first full day of class at the school here in Pajove. It’s hard to believe that I am actually here, living in Albania!!