Back to Tirana for goodbyes

Trip Start Jul 23, 2007
Trip End Aug 23, 2007

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

We left early Sunday morning for the bumpy ride back to Tirana- I went in the girls' minibus (as opposed to the English one) which was fun, but Jamie, Lucy and me managed to sleep most of the way! 2 and a half hours in the other minibus got a puncture (I think), so we were all kicked off in the middle of nowhere while our driver went back to help them. No warning though, and no indication of when they'd be back, so we wandered down the road for a bit in search of water, and I got out my book :) Only took 40 mins. As we descended, the weather got hotter and muggier- I'd forgotten what it was like in Tirana! All very tired and hot when we got back, we were overjoyed to hear there was a tiny bit of water, so we all had v.short but v.welcome showers before heading downstairs for church. Most of the church was made up of the teenagers who had come away with us, and 3 or 4 adults. It's quite small, and very young, but I'm sure Stephen's really making a difference in Pascaqan. We sang Albanian songs, but with a projector (and therefore words) it seemed real easy!

Last night in Tirana, so went out as a team for dinner. We didn't get there til gone 9pm, but most of the shops were still open and the streets were packed- I guess it's too hot the rest of the day to do your shoe shopping. The air conditioned (ahh) restaurant had a huge menu- with English translations and I ended up getting 'risotto tres', which was a huge plate divided into 3 sections, with a saffron, seafood and vegetable risotto in each part. Was delicious! Great to catch up with the rest of the team too, lots of fun. We went to sleep that night with the constant entertainment of Tonin, his key phrases being 'I love beer. Beer loves me' and 'I wish, I was a fish, swimming, in a sea of beer'. And of course 'Very important question. Bottles or cans?' He's not an alcoholic, promise! I'll see if I can upload the video when I get back.

By Monday morning, my feet had promptly swollen up again, but at least I knew what it was. We spent most of the day relaxing ad trying to stay cool- Tonin, his brother Lazza, LJ, Sam and I  took a quick trip to town to a) buy my ticket to Montenegro for next week (managed to get rid of some of my lek rather than paying in Euros thanks to Lazza being intimidating and knowing the people in the travel agency!) and b) buy a new fridge. Funnily enough, the fridges currently in the team flat don't appreciate being kept inside in 40+ degree heat, with electricity going on and off throughout the day. Tonin chose one, and we followed the unusual delivery van home- a taxi with a fridge strapped to the top of it.

When we'd finally sweltered our way home, I finished packing and then it was time for some very teary goodbyes! I can't believe how attached I've become to the people in Pascaqan after only knowing them a week. Clara (as they call her in Albania) was particularly distraught about having to leave again- she loves it here! I think we might be back next year though...
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