So as you can tell from the title of this post, I celebrated Easter yesterday! It was so much fun. I went to church with my sisters Ira and Sindi and we sang a lot of songs in Shqip. Because it was my first time in the church, they welcomed me by drum rolling their hands and counting down from 10 in shqip and then in unison shouting "mire se vini!" (Welcome!) I was worried about feeling awkward there because I was so out of my element. Not only am I jewish, but I also don't speak/understand shqip very well. However, I tried to sing along and I kept getting a lot of smiles and hugs and I felt very happy there. It was pretty awesome being inundated by a culture not of my own. After the service, I circle danced (traditional Albanian dance) for the first time. Everyone held hands and danced ina circle: right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, grapevine are the regular steps...however the pace soon picked up and we were kicking and hopping and twirling all over the place. I was sweating pretty hard by the end. There were also games at the church. They put a balloon between 2 people, and the couples had to dance while keeping the balloon between their heads. I didn't participate in this game, but it was fun to watch. We also all received decorated eggs and the. We had to smash them into someone elses egg. Whoever's egg cracked first would have good luck throughout the year. My egg cracked first :))
On the way back from church I saw something not so pleasant..a dead kitten. Apparently it happens a lot here. There are 2 reasons for this. 1. Because there is an abundance of street cats and dogs. 2. Because cars drive super fast and out of control here...and they usually blast ghetto american songs <-haha. However..I love animals and seeing them constantlymin dumpsters and or dead makes me really sad.
On a brighter note... I got to practice my circle dancing again in the same day. I went to another volunteer's host brother's birthday party and we circle danced and free danced. I like Albanian dancing a lot. There is only hand holding..no other types of touching, which makes it a lot more comfortable than American dancing...aka grinding. One guy also had a huge drum and he was playing it in the middle of the dance floor to the beat of the songs playing. At the end of the party, the birthday kid (Alejandro's) friends shoved a cake in his face.
Yesterday was a really awesome day, and I had a lot of fun and cultural exchange. I also got to shower which was a treat since I only shower twice a week. Also, when I shower I have to pick and choose..and make sacrifices. For example: the water stops being hot after I shave one leg...do I shave the other or stay hairy? Or I shampoo my hair and then the hot water runs out..do I push through the cold and condition or just call it quits? So far I've been tolerating the cold, but I don't know if I can keep it up. Haha I guess I'll let you know if things change. Language lessons are going well, and I am really happy :))