Bruna's birthday

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

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Flag of Albania  ,
Friday, August 3, 2007

When Bruna got up and came outside to find her plate of choc brownies, we all crowded round and sung 'Shume Urime per ty'  (happy birthday in Albanian) and wished her 'Guzuar Ditulindjen'. She seemed to really appreciate it. We were running another youth meeting in the evening, so met up to plan that, before hitting the castle for a good lunch of pizzas. By this stage in the week, we were all shattered, drained, and to be honest I think we all found it hard to muster any kind of enthusiasm for the evening. We all just needed a day off! But 12 kids turned up, and they needed to be entertained. We did painting with the younger ones, and attempted tie dye with the others. Amy had brought a sheet out with her for the purpose so we ripped it into triangles to make bandanas, but the dye didnt really stay and by the time they'd dried, they were all white againĘ!

Corrine gave a good talk about trusting God, and then we all sang happy birthday to Bruna and gave her a card signed by all of us. It was all too easy to withdraw from the situation and sit inside resting, just getting some space, but LJ came in to remind us we needed to squeeze out that last bit of energy and get out there! Every year, Bruna goes to the castle for dinner for her birthday, so we were honoured to be going this year. Lucy was a bit worried about stilted conversation as Eni and Bruna are the only ones in the family who speak English, but she needn't have worried. For some reason, their mum couldnt come, so it was just Lucy, Eni, Bruna and me- girls night out. We chatted about boys and their plans for next year over further pizzas. Then the mum walked down to the castle to escort us home again- 'just in case you were scared'. I love this family! On the way back, Xamija told us about her experiences of communism. While she was at school, her friends called her James because she longed for any kind of link to English. If you tried to learn or even speak English you could be thrown in prison. Lazza told us last week how men weren't allowed to wear shorts ever, and at times, the police would measure your hair. If it was a few mm too long, they'd shave it all off. Its incredible to think this was going on until 1991.
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