Monday, May 7, 2018

President Trump and Melania Trump, Albanian Health food magazine

At my favorite "health food" store where I buy brown rice and dried fruit, Neranxi, this magazine was on the check out counter. I briefly looked at it thinking..."Wow, they are on the cover of a health food magazine?"  The clerk gave it to me free of charge.  I brought it home, read through the article as best my Albanian would allow.

The article is not about "politics or world views", but..."How do you stay so beautiful, with a perfect figure?" 

There was even a recipe for her favorite breakfast, which by the way...Neranxi has all of the ingredients for sale.

In is all about being beautiful with an amazing perfect figure...!

Yes, I am still smiling! 😊

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

You are my favorite...???

This is a billboard that was just put up along a very busy road in Tirana....for Valentine's Day...I think...?

It so made me laugh as we had just gone through a teaching at church on God's love...and then here is this sign.

Thankfully, God doesn't say that to any of us...

"I will love them freely..."
 Hosea 14:4

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Happy Birthday to me....!

This is my 60th Birthday dinner celebration...with very special friends, and amazing Albanian grilled meat and veggies for dinner.  It was a beautiful afternoon...much laughter...precious friends, and Giradelli chocolate brownies courtesy of Julie for dessert.  What a very special blessing...!

Monday, October 9, 2017


Cannabis Energy Drink.... this just makes me laugh to see this truck driving through the middle of Tirana, in a country that has very harsh penalties for being in possession of "cannabis"....

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ronald in Serbia....!?

During our recent drive to Vajta, Hungary to attend the Foundations Conference at CCBCE, Nela, my PT intern and Dorina, the receptionist at ABC Health Center, were able to experience Serbia and McDonalds for the first time. Being American, and wanting a quick lunch we stopped there  both on our trip toVajta and our return trip back to Albania. you are thinking..."So what...?"  

Well, it was not that long ago that the US was bombing Serbia for war attrocities against Kosova.  Then to discover Ronald McDonald out balloons and taking photos with anyone who wanted one...was pretty funny. I don't think Nela and Dorina fully understood the "american cultural icon of Ronald"...but they were game to have their picture taken.  (Note...eastern european children would not even take a balloon from Ronald)  

It added a few extra laughs to our trip...which is always good....! 

By the way...the french fries were just as I remembered, and the McCafe had some amazing coffee, that helped the remaining 8 hours of our 15 hour drive home to Tirana. 


Friday, May 5, 2017

The Police in Albania....!

Recently I took a trip to Greece, and I had several surprising interactions with the police and the Greek border patrols.  

On my trip to Greece, I was pulled over in a small town in Albania, about 30 min from the border.  The road was blocked off with signs saying "STOP, Police".  So...I slowed down and one officer put his hand up, palm facing me...and I stopped.  The officer came up to my window...I was looking to be sure I had all of my documents in hand....and he said, (in Albanian), "Why did you stop?", "What do you need?".  I am stopped me, what do you mean "Why did I stop?".  There was a short dialogue to determine he didn't want to see my documents, and he told me to leave. I left...! 

A short time later I was crossing the Albanian border and the agent asked me, "Is this your first time in Europe?"  I told him no, that I have been living in the Balkans for nearly 10 years. He then said to me, "Why are there no stamps in your passport?"  "What?"   Then I realized I had a new replacement passport, and explained to him that the US Embassy in Tirana recently gave me a new passport. He said ok...stamped my passport and sent me to the Greek side of the border.

The agent there, asked me, "Where is your "visa" for your car?"  "My What?".  I had all the insurance, all the inspections...everything, but no "visa" for the car.  She told me that she could not let me into Greece without it. So....I went back to where I keep all my important car papers, and found a piece of plain paper with blue stamps on it and dates...that was my "car visa". She stamped it and sent me on my way.  

Whew....!!!  It is always an adventure driving in this part of Europe.  Who knew that I needed a Greek visa for my car...?  I didn't even know that I had it or what it was for....!  I will keep stopping when the police hold up there hands facing me...even if they don't know or understand why I stopped...!  

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Crutches and Feet

Today at ABC while treating a very sweet 82 year old gentleman, Fevri,  I provided 2 major Albanian language blunders...!  

përtac= lazy            pateric=crutch
dhëmbë=teeth         këmbe=foot

So...I was asking Fevri, in Albanian, if he had hip pain, knee pain and foot pain so I could assess his ability for walking safely. I mistakenly asked him if he had any pain in his "teeth".  His daughter quietly told me, "my father doesn't have any teeth.". Then Fevri looked up at me with a great big toothless smile...and of course we all started laughing. moving on.

I decided to try a pair of crutches with Fevri...He was doing great, much better than I thought he would be able to do. The only problem was...."ME". Everytime I told him an instruction or something about how to use the crutches...I used the word..."lazy". No one said anything to me until after Fevri and his family left ABC...then my intern, Nela, began telling everyone what I had said.

The seratonin levels at ABC were running high this afternoon, everyone got a good laugh at my Albanian blunders...!  Oh well, it made for a fun day...hopefully I won't make this mistake again...but I am pretty sure there will be more language blunders in the future!