It has been a very long time since I sat in a classroom and repeated after the teacher. VERY LONG! However, today I was back in that mode and sat in a classroom for four and a half hours learning to conjugate my first verb. Why does it always seem to be the local language’s version of “to be”
Unë jam Ne jemi
Ti je Ju jeni
Ai/Ajo është Ata/Ato janë
Then there are the gender endings and the plural endings. All that has seemed so far behind me since I sat down in my first Spanish class in San Juan, Puerto Rico a million years ago. But here I am doing it again..only this time in Shqip. (Albanian to those unfamiliar with the word). I’ll do this again tomorrow and then I will turn around and do it in Macedonian on Thursday and Friday. Repeat, week after week until I can pass a language proficiency interview prior to being sworn in as a volunteer. As crazy as it seems, I think I can do it. I have two wonderful young women in the house very anxious to help me with my language and the two older ladies keep teaching me new words everyday. Mizë is the most annoying creature on the face of the earth! There, now you know a word in Albanian–fly!
The afternoon brought the group back together for a Cross-culltural training session. I mean to tell you the Korpusi i Paqes certainly knows what they are doing as they prepare us for our service in country.
I met two sisters of the deceased father today. They are very sweet and greeted me with the traditional hug and three kisses. Made me feel very much at home. And then of course they had to feed me–yet again. While my desire for peppers may not be increasing, I have discovered a new beverage! Turkish coffee! It is shu mirë. I don’t care for coffee but I would swear this is thick hot chocolate. My goodness it doesn’t get any better than that. Think I am developing a bad habit.
We have been told that the men in the village will stare at us and to ignore them. Having lived on Army bases for much of my life, this didn’t seem to be such a big deal. So today when a muslim gentleman passed me on the street and said mirëdita, I almost fell over! Just shocked me. My culture shock of the day.
Now it is time to finish my homework!