Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Unfortunately, Kip had just lost his cell phone, and since he was about to close his service, he didn’t want to have to get a new one. Thankfully Megan could communicate with him through her iPhone and facebook, so we were kinda able to talk with him and make some rough plans. Lena did not understand this at all, and kept getting mad that we wouldn’t just call him already. “Lena, Kip nuk ka telefoni tani. Ne nuk mund te flasim ne telefonit,” we’d remind her. But like it was the most obvious thing in the world, she just responded, “Well, try calling him again.”



We had a few sessions in the morning to get to know our counterparts, share some knowledge between the two groups, share expectations, etc. And almost as soon as we were settling into the conference it was time to leave. Thankfully, Megan’s pseudo-counterpart had a CAR with him (MAJOR shoutout to Erald!) and so we didn’t have to travel with a crap-ton of stuff in a furgon. (We were bringing about half of our stuff to our apartments so we didn’t have to carry everything when we moved to site.)

Eventually, don’t ask me how, we met up with Kip at his my apartment and brought all our stuff inside. The next day, Kip had to run to Tirana for a day trip, and Meg and I were on our own. We got byrek-fast and went to our respective offices (hers, the Bashkia/Municipality, mine, the D.Sh.P/Directory of Public Health). I wandered around until I found a person, sat with her and some of her friends (two dentists and a nurse) and then Lena finally showed up. And we turned around and left for coffee.

Coffee is an integral part of the workday here. Like, 2-hour coffees.

I did get to know a young doctor, Herta, who speaks English and we talked about Foucault’s body theory and Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophy of the woman and IT WAS SO GREAT. Herta, can we be best friends? Ok, thanks.

Then we went to the Red Cross, where Megan met us because her real counterpart didn’t have any time for her due to the election season (Erald was just standing in for her real counterpart). Poor Megan. At least she got a coffee with us when we went again. We also met Moza, another counterpart of mine…for coffee.

Coffee is an integral part of life here. Like, 2-8 coffees a day.

We finally made it back to Kip’s place, napped, read, internet-ed, ate, and generally vegged out. And it was marvelous. 

Lushnje is known for its fruits and veggies. Here are some of the markets ("tregs") near my place.

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