September 21, 2014
In Our Neighborhood 

Looking out of the windows along the long wall of our kitchen (formerly a balcony), Elsie and I can see almost directly into the backdoor to Palma Minimarket. We have appreciated having a small but well stocked grocery shop across the street from our apartment building. We can get fresh meat, bottled water, eggs, and much more when we need them at short notice. And the proprietors are very friendly.

backdoor to Palma Minimarket

Backdoor Entrance to Palm's (20-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

As usual on Saturday I went out to buy a few items with my camera hanging around my neck. After the owner of Palma's served me and I paid, he hugged his wife and asked if I would take a picture. I promised I would not just delete it off of my camera but would post it on my blog. I am only too glad to begin to know such friendly folks in Lezhë. 

Mr. and Mrs. Ibrihimi at thier store

Mr. and Mrs. Ibrahimi, Owners of Palma Minimarket in Lezhë (20-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Below are two more views of our near neighborhood. First is the entryway to our apartment building. Our building housing persons of all ages from children up through senior citizens. And that is not including us who at 65 and 70 are not yet in the later group!  :)

the entryway into and out of our building

The Entryway to Our Apartment Building (20-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

After coming out of the entryway and looking to the right, we often see the view below and not unusually it will be even more congested as cars and vans try to find any spot to park for the night.

looking right down the street from the entryway

The Street Scene Outside of Our Apartment Building (20-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

The overhead wires which crisscross the sky are often perches for House Sparrows such as the one below.

male house sparrow on an overhead wire

Male House Sparrow in Lezhë (20-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Well, folks, these are just a few more samples from our neighborhood. We appreciate them all and thank God that he led us here!

September 20, 2014
A New School Year Begins at Lezha Academic Center

School at Lezha Academic Center began on Monday morning, but before getting to that, here are a few photos from the weekend before. On Friday evening, Sept. 12, as we walked to join a few other teachers for dinner at the small restaurant that makes rotisserie roasted chicken, we saw Loren and Earlene Horst and Norma Teles visiting with some friends whom we were then introduced to. So we continue to meet new people in Lezhë. 

Norma Teles, earlene and Loren Horst and friends

Norma Teles and Earlene and Loren Horst with Friends (12-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Sunday morning as we met with some of the teachers for coffee before church, I tried sneaking a photo of Justin and Melanie Erb. I caught Justin unawares, but Melanie (being the photographer she is) noticed my picture-taking.

Justin and Melanie Erb at My Bar for coffee

Justin and Melanie Erb Drinking Coffee Before Church (14-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Last Sunday was the monthy time for a joint worship with the other evangelical churches in Lezhë--the Brethren chruch and the Baptist church. This time we met at the Brethren building, but Pastor Rafael Tartari presented the sermon.

joint Sunday service for evangelical churches in Lezshe

Joint Church Service--Brethren, Baptist and Mennonite (14-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

After the service, the two Brazilian missionaries--Rafael and Enrique--posed for a photo. Enrique is a Baptist church planter who recently moved to Lezhë to begin a church in a village or town nearby.

pastors Rafael Tartari and Enrique after the service

Missionary Pastors from Brazil--Rafael and Enrique (14-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Later on Sunday as we walked to the school so we could finish getting the iMac's ready for the start of school, we passed the group of pigeons we often see in front of the soccer stadium.

pigeons at the stadium

Pigeons Outside of the Soccer Stadium (14-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

On Monday school began with a brief assembly outsides before we all entered the building. Students lined up in their different grades and Klementina Shahini, Justin Erb, and a senior who graduated last year all gave some welcoming and motivational comments.

students outside at LAC on Monday morning

First Day of Scho0ol at Lezha Academic Center (15-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Mrs. Shahini welcoming the students on Monday

Mrs. Shahini Welcomes Students (15-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

Monday evening from 5-7 p.m. was the time for parents to come and learn about the school and to ask any questions they had. One parent spent quite a bit of time questioning whether LAC was adequately preparing our graduates for taking the national senior exams. We found out later in the week that all of our graduates from the spring who had applied to Albanian universities not only got in but were given their first choice of universities to attend!!

many parenbts attending an evening orientation meeting

Mrs. Shahini Orients Parents to the School Vision and Policies (15-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

This fall I am now teaching chemistry to the eleventh grade students and will then teach physics in the spring semester. To help them begin studies with an interesting exercise and one that introduced critical symmetry operations, they explored the various designs used in constructing sidewalks from concrete bricks of various sizes and shapes. Here are a few examples and then my own design. They handed in their independent design on Friday, so I have some grading to do before Monday.

The first three photos show bricks with a C2 rotational symmetry axis perpendicular at the center of each brick.

sisdewalk bricks--rectanges

Sidewalk Bricks #l (21-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

sidewalk bricks--straight lines but not rectangles

Sidewalk Bricks #2 (20-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

sidewalk bricks--semi-circles and straight lines

Sidewalk Bricks #3 (4-Feb-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

The bricks below have a rather unique design with no straight lines, only arcs, but they still can be tiled closely together in a sidewalk. Note they also do not have the C2 axis of symmetry perpendicular to their plane that the first three bricks do.

sidewalk bricks made with four arcs

Sidewalk Bricks #4 (20-Aug-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

My sample independent design using rectangular bricks that are twice as ling as they are wide. When I shared this on Facebook, Evie McPhee said she would hire me to do their patio design!  :)

my sample design using rectangular bricks

My Sample Design Using Rectangular Bricks (19-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

On Thursday I captured Mirela, the LAC cook in the kitchen getting ready for lunch and Dini Shahini frying a fresh hish someone gave him on the street. Elsie and I love fried fish, but we do not know how to make sure the fish is fresh and not too old for eating. Maybe Dini can give us some hints.

Dini Frying a Fish and Mirela Making Studsent Lunches (18-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

As we waited after school on Friday to see if we were having a teachers meeting, I noticed some Albania teachers entering grades into our new online program. Apparently they also saw me before I took the picture, and they tried to pose for me! 

Silva, Besiona, Sonila and Adelina Working on Grades (19-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

That evening as we were walking to eat more chicken with the expatriate teachers, a group of young girls who were in ninth grade stopped and talked with us. Apparently we looked German because they tried talking in German to us first and then English. And two of them wanted me to take their picture with Elsie. 

Two Ninth-Grade Girls Joined Us During Our Walk (19-Sep-14; © Richard L. Bowman)

This week has been a time of learning to know more of the friendly people of Lezhë. Hopefully in the weeks ahead, we will be able to deepen some of these friendships as we meet more deliberately with them.

--©2014, Richard L. Bowman

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