August 25, 2014
More That Is Usual; More That Is Different 

Another week in Lezhë has come to completion. Below are just a few more photos giving a sample of our lives during the past few days. 

Pigeons are very usual in Lezhë. What is different is that it appeared on first glance to be solid black.

a black pigeon near the futboll stadium

A Black Pigeon In Front of the Futboll Stadium (21-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Another usual thing in Lezhë is to see sidewalks made from various repeating geometric shapes. Mathematicians and artists call them tessellations. To help my physics classes start off with a challenging but fun topic, I will give the students the task of finding as many different tessellations in sidewalk designs as they can and then for each student to compose a unique one themselves. These will then be presented to the class. Hopefully this will increase their observational and analytical skills and give them an opportunity to make public presentaitons.

tesselation pattern in a sidewalk

One Tessellation Pattern in Sidewalk Design (21-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

The usual for Elsie and I in our shopping is to go into small shops and a few bigger stores in the Net Center. I know last spring I photographed several small and the outside of the Net Center, but below are two photos showing the outside of one inside shop, Globe, which sells electrical appliances and other goods. 

Elsie walks toward me as I wait for her to shop at Big Market at the Net Center

The Outside of the Globe Store in the Net Center (21-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

another view of the Globe store in the Net Center

A Continuation of the Globe Display Windows (21-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

We have also discovered that one of the usual occurrences in our neighborhood is the man with his "qofta" (pronounced: ch-[long]-o-fta) cart selling hot sausages. Wofta can also refer to something more like meatballs, but here in Lezhe it more often describes a meat product resembling "brown-and-serve" breakfast sausages in the USA.

When I showed this photo to Klementina she remarked that this man and his cart helped celebrate some work being done when the school started three years ago. 

I want to try to get to know this man and our neighbors as we learn more Shqip, the Albanian language. We are learning, but it is going slow for me.

the qofta man selling his sausages in our neighborhood

The "Qofta" Man and His Cart in Our Neighborhood (21-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

This past weekend we took a six-hour trip to the south of Albania to the city of Permet and its surroundings. We left Friday afternoon and on the way met this train near Vorë on a track running parallel to the highway.

a train passed us on our way to Permet--near Vorë

An Albanian Train on the Move Near Vorë, Albania (22-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

In Permet, we met Klementina's older sister who lives in the house in which they spent their childhood. When we visited their home place, Klementina's sister on "snacks" which turned out to be a big "spread" instead. We ate well and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, the food and the conversation.

Klementina's sister serves her and Elsie as we all await to sample the delecicacies

Klementina, Her Sister, and Elsie Enjoy the Occasion (23-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

a fig after I took a bite from it

I Like Fig Jam on My Bread, But Here Is My First Fresh Fig (23-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

I'll try to post more photos from our trip, but here is one of Permet and its big rock right in the center of the city. Children and others have been climbing it for generations. There is even a metal staircase on the otherside.

the "Big rock" in the center of Permet

Permet's Big Rock in the Center of the City (24-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

While the younger teachers climbed up to the castle in Gjirokastër (about an hour from Permet), Klementina, Elsie and I ate some very tasty ice cream and just talked in a restaurant within easy walking distance. As we left the restaurant, two roasted lamb carcasses were brought in to be carved and served as customers placed orders for lamb.

two roasted lamb carcasses are brought to the restqaurant we sat at

Lamb Meat Roasted on a Spit (24-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

We definitely had a full and enjoyable weekend, and as one person commented, it was good to worship in God's beautiful outdoors. I'll try to post more later.

August 21, 2014
Moved In; Getting Settled 

As I promised in my post on Sunday, here are a few photos of our move and our apartment. We moved the suitcases into the bedroom while the owners were finishing some repiars and cleaning. By the late afternoon, we had begun unpacking.

Elsie surveys our suitcases

Elsie Checks out Our Suitcases (16-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Here are a few photos from the outside of our apartment building taken this week. We are on the second floor with a balcony that had been converted into a kitchen with a wall of windows on the south-facing side. So we keep the blinds pulled during the day to help the air conditioner keep the apartment cool. We have one wall unit in the living room to cool and heat the whole apartment.

the south side of our apartment on second floor

Our Apartment on Second Floor with the Blinds Pulled (19-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

close-up of our balcony converted into our kitchen

Close-up of Our Apartment and Its Heating-A/C Unit (19-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

entrance to the stairwell

Entrance to the Stairwell for the Apartment Building (19-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Yesterday morning as we came down our one flight of stairs (so much better that three flights with more steps last spring), Elsie noticed a large "worm." In size it looked about like a tobacco worm that I know growing up in farming communities in Lancaster County, PA, USA. When we get an Internet connection, I'll try to do some more research and try to identify this one.

a large "catterpillar"

A "Worm" Guarding Our Outside Stairs (20-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

This week our teacher orientation and faculty meetings began. This year they are also including lessons in Shqip (the Albanian language). I particularly feel like I am the worse klutz when it comes to learning Shqip, but I still hope I learn more than I know already.

faculty meeting gets ready to begin

Monday Morning Faculty Meeting Gets Ready to Begin (18-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

American teachers in our Albanian language class

Teachers in Class to learn Shqip (20-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Adelina is on stage as our up front teacher with others helping

Adelina Is on Stage as Our Teacher with Besjona as a Resource (20-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

As we waited to begin our faculty meeting on the culture of Albania yesterday, I attempted to get some candid photos of American teachers. Justin Erb and Josh Kirkman could sort of ignore me, but Katrina wondered how can it be "candid" when she knows I taking her photo. 

Justin Erb and Josh Kirkman waiting for our meeting to begin

Justin Erb and Josh Kirkman Wait for the Faculty Meeting to Begin (20-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Katrina asks how can this be unstaged if I know it is happening

Does Katrina Just Wish I Would Go Away? (20-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

On the other hand, Justin Rittenhouse has not had near enough time to get adjusted to the six-hour time zone change. Elsie and I marvel at how he keeps attending all of the meetings when we know he must be very tired and sleepy.

Justin Rittenhouse takes advantage of a delay to rest some more

Justin Rittenhouse Captures a Few Moments of Rest (20-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

And yesterday at noon as we walked past the market, I shot a quick photo of the outdoor part of the market. 

the open-air part of the market

The Open-air Part of the Lezhë Market (20-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

We continue to await the installation of an Internet connection in our apartment, but we have been told that this morning it will finally happen. If not, I'll try to post this from LAC in the afternoon or My Bar if we go there later for some coffee.

--©2014, Richard L. Bowman

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