March 22, 2013
Mire dita! Tomorrow I meet my host family and I am SO excited :) I can't wait to share how that goes with everyone. Now, however, I can tell you a little more about PST and what I have learned so far. Here are some interesting facts about Shqiperi (Albania) and Peace Corps:
1) Albania does not have numbered buildings and therefore no formal addresses. For example an address could simply be "the blue 2 story apartment across the bar and around the corner from the grocery store."
2) Albanians love to kiss. If they really like you, you get 4 kisses when greeted. Sometimes pinched cheeks as well..
3) It is appropriate and common to ask a woman her age. It is also cool for people to ask each other how much money they make. Albanians are very open.
4) Child trafficking is very common here. A lot of child beggars are products of this. :(
5) Generally Albanian time is different from American time. Aka..they usually run pretty late.
6) Teddy bears and dolls are hung up by their necks on houses for good luck/to keep bad spirits away. It looks pretty creepy.
7) Albanians like Americans. They are happy to cling to you as they walk to show off that you are "their" American friend.
8) "Coffee is not coffee, but sometimes it is just coffee." In Albanian culture sometimes coffee can = marriage proposal or agreement to seriously date. However, sometimes coffee is just coffee. It is how people socialize in Albania, but women have to be extremely careful when asked to get coffee by a member of the opposite sex.
I hope you guys enjoyed those fun little facts. Today we just continued are language classes and received quick medical check ups. We also began working with our sector and got to meet with volunteers from groups 14 and 15. Tomorrow we have language lessons, cross cultural training and then... Off to Librazhd to meet my host family!!!
Naten e Mire!