In 2009 we followed our dream supported by our church, family and friends to move to Albania. As a family of five we have had many adventures, we have learnt a lot, lived a lot and loved a lot.
We live on the Keneta, which literally means ‘swamp’ and is one of the disadvantaged areas, with little infrastructure and high levels of poverty and issues associated with this. We opened a centre in 2011 for children, young people, families and the community that would provide opportunities for people to learn, develop, be safe and also as a place to share the love of God. We run three sessions most days, mornings for children and afternoons for teens and then throughout the year run special events, particularly where the children and young people get to share skills, talents and things they have learnt. Many children would not have a chance for extra learning and as school is over double subscribed and teaching hours are short we get the opportunity to provide educational and informal learning. All our activities are FREE.
As well as Burime, the centre, we live here, in a small house that suffers from damp, lacks regular water supply and electricity but is surrounded by the most amazing neighbours that nothing else could compensate for. Our daughter, goes to Albanian nursery run by a foundation at our church. Our two boys go to regular Albanian school in the afternoons. I also homeschool the children to help them keep up with their English. We shop at the little shed store down the dust road run by the loveliest old man. We walk along the open sewerage canals, holding our breathe most mornings and not turning to look when we hear water flowing. Our kids play in the dust filled empty building lot next door. We share coffee, we share memories, we laugh together, get laughed at, we LIVE here.
We love life here but it is all supported from friends and family, people making a difference to others they may never meet but changing lives by their kindness. We are also in our last year here, we feel it is time to return to the UK and with that come so many new challenges as our hearts live here but we know its time move. This blog is random, sometimes its the amazing things happening at Burime, sometimes its words from the kids, sometimes its my observations, ponderings and wonderings as we wander along these roads on this amazing journey….