I was woke by the rattling of my seat and clapping and cheering of people as our plane landed in Tirana. No more than a second had passed from when the plane started to land on the ground and everyone was up out of their seats, chattering, grabbing coats and bags, happily pushing each other into the aisle to get off the plane.
“Could you please remain in your seats until this plane comes to a stop and the seat belt signs go off, Thank you” said the driver over the speakers. At this, no one seemed to take any notice except for a few careful tourists who remained in their seats until the plane came to a complete stand still and the air hostess opened the front door.
This made Josh and I smile as we felt something of a very warm atmospheric introduction to this beautiful ‘Land of the Eagles’!
As we got off the plane and waited at the passport border, I turned to face the huge window and stared at beautiful, misty mountains in the distance. I can’t describe completely the feeling of deep gratitude towards God for giving us this opportunity to rejoin the DTS team and be able to visit the nation of my best friend, Irena.
Thank you so much to those who have been praying for us and who have supported us to be here. It means a lot that we were able to reunite with our YWAM team and join this next phase of DTS!
We are now with our team in Gorre and staying with a lovely family. Ermali and his wife Nertalli, and their 3 children. They are wonderful hosts and a great example of serving God here in Albania. The village where we are staying is very relaxed and I am noticing already that this seems to be a very warm culture, where relationships and community take priority over time schedules and structure 🙂 As I write this I am surrounded by people sitting all around the living room laughing and chatting, whilst the children play, some talk in the kitchen, a young boy walks into the unlocked front door with a kitten. The house is full of joy, and I am just really enjoying soaking up the atmosphere here:)
On our first day we went to visit the Ardenica monastery where the Albania’s most important national hero, Skanderbeg got married. It is a very beautiful place and it was a privilege to go inside as the care taker had especially allowed us to go there and see inside. He even let us take a few photos which is not usually something people are allowed to do!
In this first few days I have noticed so much beauty here in Albania. Fresh orange trees are in season and people are very generous and have given us some of their oranges as gifts in the village. There is a lot of fresh food here in Gorre, including home grown fruit and vegetables, milk from the village cows and fresh Eucalyptus and Basil!
Our first day’s introduction to Albania has been very sweet indeed 🙂