In English: My name is Katie. So turns out Katie is a boys name (because it ends in the ee sound) but my language teacher told me today she has an Albanian friend (who’s a girl) that spells her name Keidi.
So many things have already happened and it’s really hard to decide what I should share now and what can wait. I’ll just continue with a few differences here in Albania..
Weather: Right now is the hottest part of the year. It’s about like the South Carolina heat…just a little hotter. But there is no air-conditioning here. So really it’s apples and oranges. The houses here don’t have insulation so it will be super hot in the summer and super cold in the winter.
Water: You cannot use the water to brush your teeth, wash dishes or anything but shower and wash clothes (and flush toilets). You will get sick. Locals don’t drink it either. This isn’t the same sickness you get in some Latin American countries. Also, water is scarce right now so we wash dishes once a day, shower sparingly (which doesn’t feel too good when you are sweating 99% of the fluids you are drinking).
Family: Nicole and I have been adopted into the family of the people we are living above. They told us they’ll consider us their own daughters. They are amazing. Marjane came looking for us one night when we were with Dawn and getting back late. She said she was worried that we weren’t in the house and came to find us. Last week, before Nicole and I got here, the other girls were running really low on water. So they filled two wheelbarrows with water and pushed them back to the house for the girls. In the blazing heat. For 30 minutes. One way. They didn’t bring any water for them. It was for the girls. They said they were used to having water in the States and wanted to make sure that they had it here. So like I said they are pretty amazing. The kids also come up and visit all the time and help us with our Albanian.
Time: I feel like I have adjusted to the time change fairly well. However, their time here is dfferent. It is so hot that most people stay in during 1-3ish. But they eat lunch around 2. And dinner around 10. At night. We usually eat around 8 or 9. Mainly because we stay pretty busy.
Language: Right now I’m in intensive language lessons. And by intensive I mean intense. Nicole and I are both taking two hours of lessons a day, 5 days a week in addition to studying and practicing what little I know in the community. (Don’t worry I will have lots of awkward stories to share I’m sure). But between adjusting to the culture and the intensive language studies and the heat is overloading my brain!! But hopefully, over the next few weeks, I will begin to pick up the language!
That’s all for now but don’t be fooled. There are many more differences. Including the male/female cultural differences. The next post will have more media. Still working on figuring out the cultural etiquette of obtaining those!