Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Playing a little Catch Up....

It has been awhile since my last post so there are some little things I need to catch you all up on first before I go into my “Mother’s Day” segment. First, I will be moving to Lezhe once I swear in as an official Peace Corps Volunteer. I will be working in the municipality in Lezhe and the next city over, Shengjin. Shengjin is a town right on the Adriatic so I am very excited to have my body of water back!!! I am also excited (perhaps prematurely) because my house supposedly has a view of the Adriatic! We’ll see what it really has a view of when I go on the site visit in two weeks. Last weekend, we had a Cinco de Mayo party in Hajdaran. It was so nice to have some food with a little kick to it!! And yes, there was a pinata:) I have been sick for the past week and it has not been good. I was sent to Tirana for 2 days and am now back in Cerrik recuperating. For this reason, I was not able to go camping in Belsh this weekend with the other trainees which made me mad but oh well. There will be other opportunities.

As I’m writing this, it is Mother’s Day (I know I am posting this a few days late but you know, internet issues.....) A few days ago I explained to my host mother about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in America. I told her that Mother’s Day is a day for mother’s to relax. The children and father cook breakfast, do any cleaning and the children must be on their best behavior. My host mom was completely shocked that we had such a holiday and said nothing like that at all exists here in Albania. Women in Albania are completely responsible for the cooking, cleaning, laundry and the raising of the children. It’s true some men will do the shopping but I think that is so that they maintain their high level of being outside and women stay mainly inside. That’s just what I think. Anyway, I then explained Father’s Day to her. She laughed when I told her that this was the day when the father got to sleep in and the mothers cook breakfast and the father gets complete control over the tv. “That’s everyday!” she said and I had to agree because it is completely true. Men are only expected to go to work and other than that it is them going fishing, going for coffee, meeting friends in town and walking or playing chess or backgammon in the park. Well I told my host mom that I wanted to show her a real American holiday so I told her that on Mother’s Day I was going to cook breakfast and I would do the laundry and cleaning. She just smiled and laughed a little.

This morning I woke up at 7:30 and began to make pancakes. She wandered into the kitchen and asked what I was doing. I told her making pancakes and she smiled and said she was going to iron. So much for me doing all the work today. I finished the pancakes and set the table and she tried them and said they were very good. I made us both coffee after that and we sat there watching the traditional Albanian music station. Good times. After that I started to do the laundry. My host mom did the dishes. I hung the laundry and my host mom began to scrub the white laundry by hand. My host dad is just chuckling the entire time calling me his “little Albanian”.

Well it is kinda funny for them I guess. I haven’t done anything the entire time I’ve been here and now I’m cooking and doing laundry. I’m turning into a true Albanian house wife!! Let’s just hope that don’t come to expect quite so much all the time. I’m fine doing my laundry and cooking once in awhile but I hope it doesn’t become a very frequent occurrence. I know it will in 5 weeks when I move to Lezhe but until then I’m enjoying my laid back experience with them. I’m glad I was able to at least sort of show my host mom what a Mother’s Day in America would be like and I’m surprised she didn’t supervise while I was cooking. It’s progress. I did have fun doing it and it is what I would have done for the most part today anyway. I really kinda missed my mom this past week. She’s my favorite person in the world. Plus when you're sick you just kinda want you mom. I have survived though and I’ll see her in September so just gotta sit tight until then. But anyways.....

Hope everyone, especially you moms, had a nice and relaxing day!