Saturday, March 18, 2017

O Zemër

I guess it's no big secret that Terry and I really miss Albania a lot. I think I spent the first year and a half here actively grieving. I didn't realize before we left how much I had fallen in love with the place, the people. I had gotten a little bored and thought I needed a change of scenery... I wanted to be closer to family, and I wanted my kids to learn Spanish.

For me at least, my attachment to the place is inextricably connected to that phase of life with the kids. I look at pictures now and goggle at how small they were then!

But at least now I can look at those photos without my heart aching so much. I think our last visit in January last year was something I very much needed to do, in order to truly say goodbye.

I can make myself a cup of coffee in the mid-afternoon without crying. I don't feel so guilty about leaving Shpresa.

I still think it is one of the most beautiful and fascinating places I have ever been to. And that has at least a little bit to do with how we felt there among our Albanian and expat friends - wanted, appreciated, loved. 

I have found friends here; over the last year I think I finally accepted that it was ok that my closes friends are all people I work with, in most cases supervise. It doesn't seem to be an issue for the Colombian women on my team so I decided it's not an issue for me, and I've been much more content since I made that shift.

We are still uncertain about what our next steps will be. Albania could be in our future again, not only in the past. I have more thoughts about leaving that I will leave for another post - just processing in these last few months here.

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