Which Way Challenge: Albania

Lezhë, Albania

I’m back in Albania, Lezhë to be correct. Yesterday I had Tim for a walk around town. A few leaves are starting to fall as you can see.

If you’d like to see more ways, click here. You’ll see sidewalks, paths, trails, highways, byways, waterways and more.

Weekend Coffee Share

St. Nicholas Cathedral, Lezhë, Albania

If we were having coffee, you’d be here with me in Lezhë where the sun has come out after some rainy days.

I’d tell you that I’m working with Afghan refugees again and new American teachers. We’ve worked every day since we arrived last Wednesday so I’m looking forward to a weekend off.

I’m happy to be back in Albania and hope to explore more.

I’ve been reading Harlem Shuffle for my book club. It hasn’t wowed me but I’ve been slogging along.

Thursday Door Challenge

Bunk’art 2, Tirana

In Tirana, they’ve converted 2 bunkers to museums which are focused on displaying the history of modern Albanian history.

Both of these doors lead to part of the bunker used for decontamination. The bunkers were designed as shelter in the event of a nuclear war. They actually wouldn’t have done much to save anyone.

To see more doors linked on Dan’s blog, click here.

Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m busy getting ready to return to Albania. Next Tuesday I leave. I’m excited but there’s a lot to do.

I’ve got mixed emotions about this teaching experience. I’m more excited than not, but it’s a pity that my two former American colleagues weren’t asked back. I’m not sure why. Both were two of the most skilled teachers I’ve worked with. Also, it now seems that the participants have a low English skills. Since the mission is to train our participants so that the can teach the other refugees the English needed to go to the bank, a store, or the doctor’s, and to understand Western values better. If the new trainer doesn’t have at least an intermediate level of English, can they succeed? If they don’t aren’t we just wasting taxpayers’ money?

I saw the film Death of Stalin. Talk about dark satire. The film has an all-star cast including Stephen Buscemi and Michael Palin. It brings home the violence and brutality of Stalin’s government. It has a dash of The Three Stooges’ physical humor and lots of acerbic dialogue.

I finished reading Funny in Farsi, A memoir consisting of humorous essays of the authors youth as an immigrant from Iran before and after Iran’s revolution. Overall, the book was both funny and fascinating.

Now my old high school is a K-12 school

Wednesday I went to an alumna meeting at my high school. My high school closed probably 24 years ago, more or less. It merged with a boys’ school. Not much out not long after that, the building was purchased by a Christian school that teaches kindergarten to 12th grade. Before the meeting there was a chance to walk around our old school. It was strange to see a former high school with all these rooms for a little kids. However, much was the same—the gym, theater, science lecture rooms. Starting in the 1960s, Marillac high school was launched to offer girls a very progressive educational experience and prepare them to compete with and collaborate with him men in the workplace. One of the main tenants of the philosophy of Marilac was “responsible freedom.” Plus we had a lot of choices and really only sensible rules. It’s a shame there aren’t schools in this area dedicated to this kind of idea. There are good schools but most the focuses on College prep.

As is the case for most people in the US and a lot of people in the world, this past week offered another financial blow as a stock market tumbled. It’s strange and sad that people some people think I’m not in the stock market so what does that have to do with me? I’m working on learning more about economics. Feel free to add books I should read in the comments below.

I got time to visit and create and both Winnetka makerspace and the Northbrook makerspace. I was struck by how clinical the feeling is at Northbrook where there’s a strict one at a time patron policy so you’re working in isolation and you have to make an appointment a week in advance. And Winnetka you can drop in when it’s convenientYour helped by a friendly, knowledgeable librarian. On top of that, you’re surrounded by friendly crafters, so maybe grandmas with their grandkids, some might be there by themselves just making gifts or exploring a new skill some are neighbors. Although the people in Northbrook mean well, I won’t be rushing back there. I’ll drive farther for the joy in Winnetka.

Thanks, Natalie for hosting this fun challenge.