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12 June 2009 @ 08:48 am
I'm sitting the Puppies Guild office right now, doing finishing procedures. In 28 hours I'm getting on a plane and leaving Shquippery.

Habib gave me a call yesterday to wish me well and tell me that he and Turi were sitting at Turi's lokal and talking about their memories of me. I'm glad I got to properly say goodbye to everybody. Habibi, Turi, and Dylan (the volunteer who came in to replace me) saw me off on Wednesday morning as I got on the furgon to leave. I had a group hug with Habib and Turi and we did the cheek thing and they wished me well and I thanked them for their friendship and kindness. I'm going to miss those guys.
Current Location: Tirana
11 May 2009 @ 05:45 pm
In 2nd-year class today, one of the boys tells me, with all the English he can muster: "I have a question." He shows me his book, on which he has gotten his friend to write "Why you don't go to hairdresser?"

09 May 2009 @ 09:59 am
There's a whole family clustered around a computer next to me, talking by webcam to a relative in a foreign country. Gjyshja (the grandmother) in a head scarf, everybody loudly talking and laughing at the same time. O modern times!
06 May 2009 @ 06:23 pm
Wikipedia on country name etymologies. One of the most interesting Wikipedia articles I've read!
18 April 2009 @ 05:53 pm
Last night Becca and I went to see a series of comedy skits called Mos u laj lakuriq (Don't Bathe Naked). Most of them were either not that funny or just over our heads, but the last one was about an American refugee seeking asylum in Shippery. The guy who played the American did a great job speaking Shqip with an American accent. I don't know where he learned to do it. We agreed that it was worth the price of admission just for that last skit.
31 March 2009 @ 08:14 pm
Here is one of my standby foods, a simple concoction I like to call:

Curry slurry and kos

1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 chunk butter
4 tbs curry powder
1 1/2 cup milk
400g kos (plain sour yogurt)

Put rice, water, butter and salt in a pot, bring to a boil. Stir well. Turn down to lowest heat. Cover and let simmer. When the rice has absorbed the water, add milk and curry powder. Stir well. Simmer for a few minutes, then mix with kos and eat.

For best results, add some vegetables. Steamed or boiled cauliflower is a good choice.

All ingredients were obtained locally except the curry powder, which I bought on my trip to Istanbul.
14 March 2009 @ 10:30 am
I played Counter-Strike 1v1 with Ergi, the young man who invited me. We played on assault and italy. He killed me about 3 times before I hit my stride and started giving him a real fight. By the end I think our total kills were 10 me, 11 him. He was tough to deal with up close, but in distance fights I had a clear advantage.

I had an audience of chunes watching the whole thing and making sarcastic and vulgar comments. I think by the end I proved that I know my way around Counter-Strike and secured my honor.
12 March 2009 @ 02:07 pm
At coffee I asked, "In your opinion, who is the most honest politician in this country?"

Bashkimi answered, "The one who is not involved in politics." (Ai që nuk merret me politikat.)
10 March 2009 @ 07:23 pm
I have a man-date on Friday to play Counter-Strike with young Shipperese men. Wish me luck. My honor is at stake.
06 March 2009 @ 06:04 pm
After my group's Completion of Service (COS) conference, I was walking fast to catch my furgon out of Durrës when I passed a couple of maybe foreign-looking dudes. One of them said "Mirë?" (a greeting). I replied "Mirë, ç'kemi?" and keep walking. A second later I heard one of them saying in English "I don't think he's [Shipperese]..."