Pashket Shqiptare (Albanian Easter)

It’s been a very frustrating few weeks. Like tear-your-hair-out frustrating. There’s been a lot going on between looking after family members, wedding planning, visa organising and house hunting. And it’s seemed we’ve been thwarted at every decision point. Lurking in the background has been this niggling issue of sorting out the farmhouse before my folks arrive for the wedding in June.

It all got too much at Easter. We had planned long ago that we would be on a road trip back from Germany and would stop at the farm on the way home to enjoy Easter with hubby’s family. And when we were forced to postpone our European road trip we decided instead to put some concentrated effort into the farm house. Then slowly that time was eaten into.

So when we found ourselves still in Tirana, after four days of miserable rain and achieving nothing whatsoever, we had a hissy fit, packed up the car and drove to the farm.

We get some help carrying our gear down to the farm!
We get some help carrying our gear down to the farm!

We got our Albanian Easter! It wasn’t exactly as we had planned it. But it was better than being stuck in Tirana in the rain!

While most of Albania is Muslim, hubby’s family is Catholic, so Easter is a key date on the calendar. It’s celebrated by the family coming together and an enormous number of eggs. Those poor chickens must have been working overtime in the days running up to the holiday!! The eggs are boiled and dyed different colours, or hand-painted. Each person gets an egg and has to tap the pointy end with someone else’s egg to try to crack it. The person whose egg survives uncracked ‘wins’ the other egg. My hubby scored the world’s strongest egg – it seemed like he was unbeatable but a few foolish bumps against the table weakened the super egg and he was eventually beaten!

Eggs being boiled in red dye
Eggs being boiled in red dye

Work on the farm house is not going as anticipated. Some serious investment is needed to return key services to the farmhouse so we’ve decided to concentrate on restoring the two bedrooms rather than the living room and kitchen. Who needs electricity, water, and plumbing anyway?!

The coolest thing though is that we do have one room sorted enough to be able to sleep there. To wake in the morning in the house where hubby spent his childhood, hear the chickens clucking around outside and look out the window towards the mountains – amazing.

Our work isn’t going to restore the farm to something worthy of some house and home magazine – but we hope it will encourage the family to come and stay at the farm more often, and give the kiddies some amazing memories like the ones my hubby treasures.

landscape

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3 thoughts on “Pashket Shqiptare (Albanian Easter)”

  1. Hi Tania – congratulations on a wonderful blog – you write beautifully. I cycled with two friends through central and northern Albania in May/June 2013, Tough and hilly country inland, with a harsh beauty to it. The Albanian people were so hospitable and were, from my experience, the most welcoming of anywhere in the Balkans. All the best with your complete immersion into life in Albania. Have a great Albanian Easter. I look forward to following your experiences over the coming year.

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