August 17, 2014
Sampling Lezhë Again (II) 

Again, there is no particular cohesiveness to my photos or thoughts in this posting, but there are a number of updates.

First of all, today is Sunday, and the congregation will return to its usual practice of meeting as a community of persons sharing in worship of God, how he has acted in our lives, and where we need more clarity in how he wants to act; all of this will be at 10 a.m. Most of us from Lezha Academic Center, along with some others will have our usual pre-gathering coffee and conversation at My Bar at 9 a.m. or soon thereafter.

Secondly, Katrina Schmid joined us on Friday, and Justin Rittenhouse's plans are to arrive this afternoon. So all of the expected expatriate teachers will be on hand for the beginning of LAC staff and faculty orientation on Monday morning.

Josh Kirkman and Katrina Schmid at coffee with the rest expatriates

Having a Coffee and Ice Cream in Honor of Josh and Katrina Arriving (15-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Thirdly, we did not get into our apartment until yesterday (Saturday), but we are excited about being in our own second storey space. And we are trying to get adjusted to such things as when water is available from the city. Today, we will buy some buckets to fill with water for use in the bathroom and in cooking when the city water is not coming through our pipes. So we are learning how to make do to make this truly our home and a place for hospitality.

Fourthly, the construction of wall for the teachers' room and the library on first floor of LAC continues and might have been concluded yesterday. (We did not go to LAC on Saturday, so we will have to see the final shape of the project on Monday.)

construction of wall on first floor of LAC continues

Construction on First Floor of LAC Advances (15-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Lastly I present a series of photos that provide a vignette of sights seen around Lezhë in the past week. Hope you enjoy them.

One of my informal roles is helping with with maintenance and best practices with the Apple iMac lab at LAC. 

Elsie and I working in the computer lab

Elsie Works on Personal Bookkeeping and I on Computer Accounts (12-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

One day Elsie pointed out this little fellow on a window sill in the stair well at LAC. Anyone have an identification: salamander, gecko or some other lizard, or what? Until we get a connection to the Internet in our apartment and can research a bit more, I'll suggest as Elsie did that it might be a gecko. 

a salamander on a window sill in LAC

A Gecko on a Window Sill at LAC? (12-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

I also continue to be touched by the beauty of flowers--whether wild flowers, weeds or domesticated cultivars. 

Hibiscus in a pot at the Ambassador Hotel

A Potted Hibiscus Plant in Bloom in Front of the Ambassador Hotel (12-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Queen Anne's Lace growing along the drainage canal near the market

A Queen Anne's Lace Flower Head Growing by the Drainage Canal near the Marketl (13-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

For some reason, I have also captured a number of photos of persons relaxing with games in the evenings along the street.

two men playing chess

Two Men Playing Chess (with onlookers) (14-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

another game of evening chess

Another Game of Chess (with onlookers) (14-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

an evenning game of dominos

Two Men Playing Dominos (with onlookers) (15-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

But it is not just the evenings that gives people the opportunity to play. Here are two workers at the Net Center who have taken time over the lunch break to compete in a vigorous game of air hockey. 

two men on break from the shops at the Net Center play air hockiey

A Competitive Game of Air Hockey (12-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

And on Friday afternoon as we left our place of drinking coffee and eating ice cream in honor of Josh and Katrina arriving in Lezhë, we watched the Lezha soccer team practicing "futboll." 

soccer practice for the Lezhe team

The Lezha "Futboll" Team at Practice (15-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

We are still discovering many new things here in Lezhë including how God wants us to live as his people here sharing his Good News. 

August 15, 2014
Sampling Lezhë Again 

There is no particular cohesiveness to my photos or thoughts in this posting, so just enjoy my rambling.

The intersection right in front of our hotel can become very congested at times, such as mid to late morning when the near by market is in full swing and people are gong to and from their jobs. Below is the intersection at a less busy time, but one can still see people  stopping their cars to talk to others, bicycles and motorcycles weaving in and around other traffic, pedestrians, and the traffic policepersons trying to keep it all under control. Oh, and I hope you have not missed the high rise apartment buildings. So many new ones of these have gone up in the last year or so, I am not sure whether they are even half full or not. Lezhë is growing, and the new people need friends and God's good news.

busy intersection right outside our hotel

A Semi-busy Intersection in Front of our Hotel (10-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

As we walk around town, I notice the pigeons (or is it a dove, this time) perched on an electric wire. I hope to find birds other than pigeons and house sparrows during our time in Albania, but in the meantime, I am impressed with the wide variety of colorings the pigeons have.

another pigeon on an electric wire

A Mostly Gray Pigeon Perches on an Electric Wire (10-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

On Monday evening to provide a bit of variation to our inn-room meal/snacks, I bought some butter and ham. So my breakfasts now consist of buttered bread (sometimes with jam), sliced "kaçkaval" (local semi-hard cheese), ham and orange juice. 

my breakfast this week in our hotel room

My Breakfast in Our Hotel Room This Week (12-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Along the bridge over the drainage canal which runs alongside of the market, I found some Queen Anne's Lace flowers. In the USA they are sometimes thought of as common roadside weeds, but here amidst the rather polluted canal setting, they are definitely a touch of beauty. "Thank you God for reminding me that the worth of people, too, is not always determined by their environment."

Queen Anne's Lace flower along the drainage canal

Queen Anne's Lace Flowers Found Next to the Drainage Canal in Lezhë (13-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

At Lezha Academic Center Mrs. Shahini has been redesigning where the different classes will meet so as to keep the middle school (or juior high) students on one floor and the senior high students on another floor. In Albania, grades 7, 8 and 9 are considered to be in juior high and grades 10, 11 and 12 to be in high school. So to accommodate this move, the teachers room needed to be moved down to first floor in a newly partitioned-off area. Below are the workmen working on putting sheetrock on top of metal studs. Metal and concrete are used in buildings because of the high possibility of termite infestations.

men working on adding a teachers room to the first floor of LAC

A New Room at LAC for Teachers to Prepare for Their Classes (13-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Yesterday just after noon, Josh Kirkman arrived in Lezhë.  He will be teaching English literature (and thus more advanced English language) to high school students at LAC. When he arrived we were still in the midst of a city-wide power outage that had gone one for several hours. So while Josh was very tired, my photo in a dark restaurant does not do him justice either.

Josh Kirkman eating lunch after his arrival in Lezhe

Josh Kirkman, Somewhat Dazed from the Long Flight, Eats with Us at Kristi's (14-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

We expect to see Katrina Schmid later this afternoon, and that will mean that all of the expatriate teachers who are expected will be on site. Klementina has noted that she is hoping some contacts will work out for a social studies teacher to join our ranks this fall, too.

And Elsie and I are expecting to move into our apartment later today, God willing. 

--©2014, Richard L. Bowman

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