31 JUL


Woke up at Regency Hotel in Korce. Had a simple toast, fetta cheese, boiled egg and tea brekky whilst I spoke to my siblings Ken, Jeff and Zenep in Australia via Viber and Skype.

Bora turned up to hotel with Xhoni and friend Dara. We all went to Bizarre Lounge for coffee to chat. Xhoni went to find a cab and came back with bus! I said no bus, a taxi! They couldn’t fathom why I would spend so much on a taxi when a bus was far cheaper. We had to walk ages to find a cab and finally got one for 200lek to Voskop.

Got to Voskop and Gurali’s house in great time, bus takes ages. Was great to see Meco and Gurali again. Such a warm presence. We all went to Husen’s and Fezilet’s house for a humble lunch of warm heart! Monda (Berti’s wife) and Mario where there also.

Husen is such a warm gentle man. He and I went for a walk around his property. This life seemed built on hardship, yet it was simple and desirable. I’d fallen in love with the way of life. We stayed a while then headed to see my dads house to take photos.

Bora was a great help with the indoor shots. We passed for a shot, Mariglen was there with Vjola with her her daughter Suela as well as two boys. Fun loving kids. Vjola showed me some shots I’d never seen before and described the people in one particular shot extensively. Vjola also showed me around the property inside and out. She was a very tactile girl, made me feel very comfortable. After much time we all headed into Vjola’s house for water and a chat. Met her mother in-law (whose name escapes me). The interior was very comfortably furnished yet dilapidated, a far cry from what my dads house was like. Times have certainly changed in Voskop.

Bora and I went back to Gurali’s house. A few people there. We all went to dinner at Dervish’s house by foot together. A modest double story house, newly built, maybe 5yo. A few people were there. We spoke on Skype to Dervish’s daughter Erma in Austin Texas. Met Vjola’s husband Namir, brother Fatos, his wife Nazime and their newly born child Amiljana.

Muazes invited me to sleep over. I didn’t want to start offending people so I just stayed at Gurali’s house only. If I was there fro longer I would have stayed at everyone’s house.

Ramadan and his wife wasn’t there as they were minding Gurali’s daughters house. Dinner was nice, a big spread of food, so much food, meet was a tad tough, cheese and Bostan – Yum! And Pengire NOT pengere (window) haha..

I broached the subject of fixing the house after dinner. It was met with some hesitance at first, I could feel the pressure of wanting to take over the house. I persisted with Bora translating to ensure that it wasn’t just about me making the decisions about the house, that there are 11-30 people involved.

I asked what do you (all) want to do about it? Most if not all want something done with house. It seemed like I was quickly becoming the mediator and that I seem to be reaching out and not a threat to all! I committed to continue pursuing this, I owe it to all our families to save the house, but don’t have the funds to do it alone.

Once dinner was over we back to Gurali’s house. I slept in Gurali’s room again!! He just wouldn’t budge on it! Bora slept at my door step, like a guardian angel.