I love festivals! Monday and Tuesday this week marked Teachers’ Day (March 7) and International Women’s Day (March 8). On these days, there were minimal attempts to have a few classes at the school, but mostly these days were for celebrating. Read: food, coffee, music, and dressing up.
In the days prior, I could never get a straight answer from anyone on when classes were scheduled for the day. Finally, I was told to be at the school on Monday at 9:30. Teachers’ Day dawned pouring buckets of rain, which ran like a river down the street. We all met at the school, where there was a display of Albanian, Macedonian, Turkish, and Roma traditional costumes.A student program featured quiz questions, answered by teams of students, followed by a student dance performance.There were lots of photos taken afterwards. I took a picture of my new counterpart, Danira, on the right, who I’ll be working with as well as my current counterpart. Then we all met in the center of Dibër at the statue of our school’s namesake, Said Najdeni. Burim, our director placed flowers in front of his statue and said a few words. We then went for coffee, a regular ritual here, followed by lunch at one of my favorite restaurants.There was abundant food and drink. The beverage of the day was red wine mixed with coca cola, a favorite here. (I didn’t mix!!) There was a lot of noisy and high-spirited visiting. It was such a fun time!
On Tuesday, International Women’s Day, we had sunny skies and perfect temperatures. Qanije invited me to celebrate with her family: her mother, aunt, daughters, and sister-in-law. We went to a restaurant on the lake. The setting was magnificent!Qanije’s three daughters are below: Arlinda, Besa, and Ejona.Qanije with her aunt (left) and her mother.The music played during the meal was a line-up of some of the most beautiful Albanian songs.
After the meal, some of us wandered outside at the edge of the lake.I didn’t realize Besa was taking a picture of me. What a festive day!