New Year

Hello all,

Albania is a very different country to the one I grew up in. It has many “benefits”, such as foggy laws around the topic of explosives. A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of my new box of bangers. They have all gone on to a somewhat better place, and so I have had to buy new ones. Albania doesn’t yet celebrate Christmas in the same way that we do in England, or America. Instead, their main, if you like, celebration is for the new year. In the past six hours (time now, 16:30, time of awakening, 10:30) , I have jumped out of my skin countless times, people around our house ‘welcome in’ the new year (if I was the new year, I would sprint in the other direction, so as to avoid being blown up)!

This evening, at nine, we will be going downstairs to our landlord’s and landlady’s house, to a party that they’re hosting. However, before that, I hope to purchase and let off fireworks. On second thoughts, a few bangers wouldn’t go amiss either! I hope to remain in their house until midnight, because last year, when instead I went to bed at the normal time and woke up just before the fireworks began, I was very groggy and begged to go back to bed. It will also be freezing, according to BBC ( 0 degrees doesn’t exactly lend itself to the beach! However, I will try to film the explosive scenes this evening, while lighting roman candles at the same time. Last year, we put one into the ground the wrong way up. That was fun…


End of Term!

Halil Poker

Today was our final day of school, but we haven’t had proper lessons since Monday. We started out this morning at the instituti e re, and had the rehearsal for Christmas. It wasn’t bad, and we got to spend time away from school. When it was over, we went back to school. However, the seventh graders went out for Chinese spring rolls and bowling, and so that left the eighth graders and the sixth graders. Middle school was quite lonely as a result! It was our party this afternoon, and Halil and I got a chance to teach some of the sixth graders how to play ‘Halil Poker’. It is a really fun game, in which you bet cards, steal other people’s cards, and play rock-paper-scissors. Miss Leonard took this photo of us in play.

Tomorrow is the Christmas program, and then the holidays. Miss Knasel is going back to America, to finish University. This means that Mr Barbour (of last year’s science fame) will be coming to teach maths! For now, I plan to sleep excessively, and practice power napping…



Yesterday, Amy and I left school at 12pm. We went up to Peje, Kosovo, with the Mortons for our Team Christmas meal. On the journey, I did some maths homework, and taught Grace about inequalities while she held my maths book open (her choice, she said she was bored). Sadly, in the end only the Cotters, and the Mortons stayed over (plus Amy and me), but Rik and his kids came this morning. I learned to play Pit, and Cluedo. It was Green, with the Revolver, in the Games Room. It was sad to go this afternoon, but I have a considerable amount of homework to do now…