[hr]Today some of the village ladies will see the fruit of their labors. The international craft bazaar is going on at the Sheraton Hotel in Tirana. The jewelry and cards made by the women from Vlashaj are being sold alongside donuts, paintings, and lots of other goodies. An earlier craft sale at the US Embassy netted about $200 and hopes for today are to top that amount.
Thanks to Lynn, Len, and Vera for managing the booth!
[hr]Not too far away from our apartment in Tirana is a major city round about. Last week we noticed a new addition to the landscape in the center of the round about. Someone in the van piped out, “It’s the American flag!”. Of course, the next day we walked back with our cameras to show everyone the new design. We find it so great that another country shows our country so much respect. Thank you, Albania.
Editors Note: The monument in the middle of the roundabout is in honor of Woodrow Wilson. After WWI several countries had their eyes on absorbing Albania into their territories. President Wilson spoke up for the autonomy of Albania and included them as their own nation state in the League of Nations (pre-cursor of the United Nations).
[hr]It has been on the list for a long time to make some better accommodations on the second floor of our Tirana guest apartment. Now with Cydil and Nathan making plans to live there we have decided to get some work done. Today we had the floor cut out to make way for a spiral stairway to go back and forth from the second to the first floor. Also, we cut out a doorway to make the kitchen accessible from the living room. When it is all completed it will make hosting guests much easier. In the photos we didn’t capture the dust that flew when the jack hammer was working. I’ll just say that the workman was grateful when I handed him a mask to wear.
[hr]Today our guests arrived in Albania from Vermont. We were so thankful they were able to make connections out of Boston in spite of all the complications from storm “Sandy”. We have several work projects that will keep them busy. It’s too bad they had to arrive with temps in the 70’s and plenty of sunshine. Let’s just hope it can stay this way for 2 weeks.
Not always does modern technology smile friendly on “the older techie”s of this world. In fact, we were held hostage by the internet earlier during our stay in Albania. But thankfully, after much effort and attempts, we have been able to access the “outer world” and even to have a business conference call yesterday. We are making plans for hosting an event which will be over Valentine’s weekend for Albanian pastors. We are very excited and are looking forward to stepping out of our usual role. The photo shows David, Genti and Shpresa talking to Len and Lynne Benson along with David Lind, the pastor of Calvary Bible Church of Rutland, VT.
Last week Planters hosted a team from Calvary Bible Church from Rutland, Vermont with two members from San Antonio, Texas. What a tremendous week it was. This team had several objectives for their time in Albania. There were special events for the children, women and men, and also several of the ladies spent time training several ladies in the village several crafts to start them on a new cottage business. The team members were Carol and Joyce, Len and Lynne, and Jake and Renee.