Albania: A Day of "Rest"

Sundays are biblically meant to be a day of rest, but when you're going to worship at a church where you don't speak the language, and you're preparing classrooms for camp registration that evening, the term "rest" tends to take on a few new meanings.  

 .................

Sunday morning in Korca (July 19), we had breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards, our team met with the CRU staff members here in Korca that we would be working with and had time to go over the schedule for the week, ask questions, and spend time in prayer for the camp time and our students.  

All dressed up and ready for church after the team meeting.  

All dressed up and ready for church after the team meeting.  

Once we were done with the meeting, our group split in two and walked to churches near the hotel that various CRU staff members attend.  

Church with Toni and Tola

Church with Toni and Tola

image.jpg
Church with Zamir and Anila

Church with Zamir and Anila

Try singing along with those lyrics....luckily many of the tunes were recognizable. But you don't have to know the words to worship and give thanks to God.  

Try singing along with those lyrics....luckily many of the tunes were recognizable. But you don't have to know the words to worship and give thanks to God.  

 .................

After church, everyone took taxis to a small town outside of Korca and ate lunch at Taverna Antonetta.  

It was nice getting to see the area a bit on our way to lunch.  

It was nice getting to see the area a bit on our way to lunch.  

image.jpg
image.jpg
Family-style eating at its best.  

Family-style eating at its best.  

Three kinds of "pies" (left) and plenty of salad and veggies.  

Three kinds of "pies" (left) and plenty of salad and veggies.  

image.jpg
Grilled lamb.  

Grilled lamb.  

image.jpg

The Albanian people definitely don't know the meaning of small portions. :) Once the meal was over, we had to loosen our belts a bit more as we realized the meal was not quite complete. As is traditional, the servers brought out plates of fresh melon (looked like honeydew but tasted more like canteloupe) as a final course.  

 .................

After lunch, we all traveled back to Korca. While the adults began grabbing materials to start setting up classrooms, the "youth" (Jonathan, Kimberly, Albina, Kena, and Savana) did the traditional Albanian thing and went to a cafeteria to grab some coffee and socialize.  

Iced cappuccinos...YUM! 

Iced cappuccinos...YUM! 

 .................

After coffee, everyone could be found near the hotel at the classroom space provided for us, setting up classes and preparing to complete registration for any students that would arrive that night.  

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Once the students started to arrive, a CRU staff member would have them fill out the Albanian registration form and then members from our team would "test" the students to see what class to put them in: Beginner, Intermediate 1 & 2, or Advanced.  

Students were directed where to go for testing after registering.  

Students were directed where to go for testing after registering.  

Part of the test involved asking questions related to an image. We tested their vocabulary, comprehension, and ability to speak in complete sentences. Can you find the man with no hair? 

Part of the test involved asking questions related to an image. We tested their vocabulary, comprehension, and ability to speak in complete sentences. Can you find the man with no hair? 

We had 13 students register Sunday night! (Three more than the previous year). 

Once the students were registered and tested, they were able to meet/mingle with the staff and Kimberly entrained groups of them with various games like the Cup Game and Seven Sevens.  

 .................

To finish off the day, we ate dinner at a nearby creperie and went to bed. Everyone was excited for classes to start the next morning.