As soon as Ted finished preaching the sermon today the service ended and Pastor Zef handed Ted a giant plastic bottle, saying “You must be thirsty.” Although it looked like water, it definitely was not water. Then about half the church went to coffee together, and then to lunch. I love how they love being together. The bottle of Raki (90 proof liquor–often home made) came out again at the coffee place. You just don’t see that very often in the US. (Another difference–you can bring your own pastries, cakes or desserts to the coffee places to enjoy with your coffee.)
At lunch Zef said that he was really happy for the work Jason and Jim headed up on the church building. It looks beautiful and there is a plan in place to complete what they couldn’t finish. He praised Ted for being willing to travel to the far corners of the country to inform doctors, med students, and others about treatment for depression. He also gave Chris and Natalie accolades for the work they did. He skipped over me, and I called him on it. “You have the most Albanian friends, but I’m not sure what you do here,” he said. Alas. (I know he’s kidding.)
Jim and I took Spencer and Brayden to dinner while their parents went to the village for a church service there. I asked the boys what they thought was the best part of being in Albania, and they said “Getting to know the Albanian kids.” The boys are the same ages as Zef’s girls and have a lot in common. Zef said that they could come back to Albania for two more years, but after that it would be too dangerous for his girls.The Karaoke night that evening was something I’ll long remember, but it’s difficult to describe. Everyone–young, old, teens–eating, laughing, dancing, and singing. Three year olds break dancing alongside men in their forties. Lots of teenagers enjoying the time even though their parents were in the same room. It’s natural there to have friends of all ages, and they just enjoy being together so much.