It had been way too long since last visiting my host family. Summer and the business of fall had taken over my life and before I knew it, 7 months had flown by without seeing them. Feeling like a terrible host daughter, I boarded a furgon (bus) for an overdue visit. I have recently begun studying to take the GRE exam in March. Equipped with all my study materials, I found the 5 hour furgon ride flew by. Apparently, the frustrations of math are good for something!
Greeting my 9 year old and 16 year old host sister put a permanent smile on my face. They are amazing girls and undoubtedly, my favorite part of Albania. I had brought a flash drive full of movies for us to watch, Christmas colored nail polish and the ingredients to make cookies. The perfect way to spend the weekend! Although, I didn’t take into account that one couldn’t find a stick of butter in the village. Only a 1 kilogram blob of village butter. The cookies had to be put on hold until next time.
I spent the next few days hearing about school and which boys were now in my host sister’s life. No matter what country you are a teenage girl in, the interests remain the same! When we weren’t watching movies, I was getting stuffed full of homemade soups and byrek (a flaky dough like pie here). Prepared for the forced feedings, I brought my tennis shoes to hopefully run off some of the calories. When I returned to Permet that following morning, I found a surprise present from my host sister. She had hidden a jar of Nutella (she knows I love chocolate!) and a few other goodies inside my bag. Visiting my host family is very different than my family in the states. However, the undeniable feeling of being loved, helps chase away any semblance of homesickness.