Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving...there will not be a turkey on our table...but chicken.  Remember, that Thanksgiving is not a holiday here...but the American missionaries get together, and some Albanians join us for the food.

Turkey is very expensive here, and not easy to find until the first part of December. Fresh turkeys can be found in the markets...as in this picture, sitting...waiting for someone to buy them.  These turkeys are purchased around the first part of December...taken home and fattened up for New Year's dinner.

The price...1400lek per kilo.  Ok... so here is the conversion:

  • a kilo is 2.2#
  • 1400lek is about $13.58 USD
  • so...about $6.30 a pound. 
  • these fresh birds are about 5-7 kilos
  • one fresh turkey>>>$69.30-$97

Chicken it is....

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.  

“I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,  And will call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:17

Where's the beef...???

The weather has turned cold here, -1C and -3C are forecast for the next few nights. (It is unusual for the temperature in Tirana to dip below 0C...which is of course freezing)   Our winter rains have come...no snow, but still chilly.  I thought some beef stew with biscuits sounded really good.  I bought all the fresh vegetables...but NO BEEF.  I have gone to the stores where I have bought meat in the past and all they have right now is pork.  I was told it is too early to have beef.  Is beef seasonal...?  Why is there only pork in all the markets?  There are some smaller meat markets, but I am not sure of the quality of the meat...so I didn't look any further. 

Why when my heart was set on beef stew is there only pork available?  

Hmmm....carne adovada might work...I have the red chile pods, and pork. I could make tortillas... 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Smart phone tutor...

As I was trying to figure out how to use my new "smart phone"...I just started pressing buttons to see what I could find, I even "googled"  several how-to questions...it took me an hour to figure out how to turn off the prediction feature on my phone. Sometimes I actually send text messages in albanian...and the prediction feature puts up really strange words. 

I have a friend and I knew he was a computer/web set up guy...so I called him.  I met him for coffee...and what a blessing. He helped me set up my phone, with the icons that I will use, and he removed the ones I won't use. He set up my GPS map to Tirana, Albania...and showed me how to use it. He helped me understand between when my phone uses wi-fi and "data" and installed an app to help me know how much data I have used each month, so I don't go over the limit.  I know what the difference is between an "app" and a "widget".  

So now...I feel that I can use my smart phone and understand some of the features it has to offer.  What a blessing it was to have someone sit down with me...show me what I needed to know and understand...and now be able to use my cell phone with some understanding of what I am doing.

Yes...I know how to make calls, send messages, and even add photos of my granddaughter, Hannah, to my wallpaper.

Life...always an adventure....!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Smart phone...ok Smart phone user...not ok

For those of you that know me well, I prefer to have a cell
phone that rings, and sends messages.  Nothing more...

I have had to upgrade my current cell phone, it does not have the ability to "roam" when I travel outside of Albania.
Which leaves me without any phone when I travel to Kosova or ???

Ok, so I shopped around. I didn't want an expensive phone. (plus I rec'd a 30% discount!) This phone had good reviews, and was hailed as a good starter phone for teenagers.  (nothing was said about older missionary women who are technology challenged!)

I got my new phone yesterday. The owner's manual is of course...in Albanian. But wait, there is an English version on the internet. It is basically written with the assumption that the person reading the manual knows what all the terminology means.  What is the difference between an app and a widget...?

So far....I have installed the SIM card, charged the battery, all of my contacts transferred to the new phone, YEA...!!!, set the date and time, and it seems to be connected to my gmail, though I am not quite sure how that happened.

There are other features that would be nice to have...if I can figure out how to use them.  For example, it has a GPS app on it, but the map is for the US...that doesn't really help me much here. I am going to ask around to see if some of the younger missionaries, or missionary kids would be willing to give me a "tutorial" on how to use my new phone.   I am pretty sure that there are no "classes" at the Vodafone store.

I think if it rings...I know how to answer it.  Haven't tried a text message yet...maybe tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I told you so...!

Today, as I was returning from a short trip of errands, one of the young boys that plays soccer in my neighborhood asked me a question in Albanian.  Translation: "Can you get my ball that went into the yard where you live...?"   I told him sure, unlocked the gate, gave him his ball. He immediately ran to some of his friends and said..."I told you she understands Albanian!"