Monday, October 03, 2011

O Sa Bukur! (Oh how beautiful!)

Some photos from our weekend trip to Saranda:

Gabriel enjoying the flowers during a pit stop

Valerie "playing soccer" with a mosaic ball (same pit stop)

Saranda at sunset

Another pit stop

Somewhere really beautiful near the coast

This past weekend we took a 9-hour bus trip to the southernmost part of Albania, spitting distance (almost literally) from Greece. We could see Corfu, but didn't make it there just because the ferry schedule didn't coincide with our retreat schedule.

Terry was participating in the annual WV day of prayer; last year we went to Montenegro for this same event, almost immediately after arriving in the country - still a bit shellshocked from the trip and trying to find our land legs (you totally have to click on the link to last year's post - if nothing else to see the photo of Gabriel and gape at how much he has grown!).

The kids and I were happy to go along even though it was a really, really long bus ride. The kids did great, actually, although the return trip didn't depart until after 1 p.m. so we didn't get home til almost 10. We went on a charter bus full of young, energetic WV staff who doted on the kids, sang to them, played with them, shared snacks and showed them little videos on their iPhones. So that made it a little easier.

Valerie did GREAT with the potty training - no accidents whatsoever. We took along her little potty as well as a ring that goes on top of an adult-sized toilet and used them at pit stops and at the hotel. I think it's safe to say at this point she's done with diapers. We use pull-ups at night but even so she's gotten to the point where she treats them like underpants anyway, telling me when she needs to go potty even in the middle of the night.

Saranda was absolutely gorgeous. In fact the whole trip was gorgeous. I decided I want to live in a village above Orikum :-)

The day and a half at the hotel were fun, too. The kids enjoyed the little playground by the hotel pool, and walking down to the beach to throw stones in the water. They really loved the elevator which dinged every time the doors opened. And the long gauze curtains in the dining room. And the constant admiring attention from the throngs of caring adults at the conference! They liked the big hotel bed and the balcony. Saturday afternoon Valerie took a bunch of rectangular cookies, spread them out on the table, and told me they were Jesus's sheep and he was looking for the lost one. Then she gave them some small blue tiles from the pool to eat (apparently they were acorns!). Gabriel showed off his receptive knowledge of Albanian (pointing to his head when prompted, making sounds or signs of different animals) and charmed one and all with his adorable smile.

We didn't get much sleep but we survived... and it's nice to be home now where we can rest and recharge our batteries.


tara said...

looks so lovely- glad you all survived the long driving.

anita said...

They are learning to be little travelers. :)