Easter in Albania

The mount behind our house has cross centered at the top. On Good Friday, the town's Catholic Parrish and community walks from the church to the cross. After an opening prayer, the group pauses 14 times along the path lead by a man carrying a wooden cross and the priest, nuns and the community. 1st Station: Jesus is condemned to death 2nd Station: Jesus carries His cross 3rd Station: Jesus falls the first time 4th Station: Jesus meets his mother 5th Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross 6th Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus 7th Station: Jesus falls the second time 8th Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem 9th Station: Jesus falls a third time 10th Station: Jesus clothes are taken away 11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross 12th Station: Jesus dies on the cross 13th Station: The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross 14th Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

A tradition that was cancelled this year due to the current pandemic. Our neighbors carried the tradition on from our house to the cross.

Traditions on Easter morning starts with silence until after eating the morning meal with specific items: fresh spring garlic to ward off evil, fresh bread without yeast, fresh cheese without salt and a boiled egg. Morning mass followed by a large family meal. This year no morning mass or large family meal with the current pandemic. We will have close immediate family only with traditional roasted lamb, rice pilaf, kos (yogurt), fresh bread, cheese, olives, fruits and greens followed by baklava.


Another Easter tradition is the decorating and dying of eggs. A guest will pick an egg and the host will pick an egg. The guest will then gently tap the other egg and winner is decided when the egg stays in intact. This has been a tradition for many many years here and is still done by both adults and children. Sweet treats like chocolate and fruits are still given to visiting family. To my knowledge no Easter Bunny or basket traditions in our area.


We spent Good Friday with extended family that were released from self isolating after returning from the UK outdoors and with social distancing. We hiked up the Mokset Hills and took new paths (the one down I will likely not repeat rocky and steep). The landscape was dotted with fresh green, flowered trees and the grazing animals of nearby homes. The views never get old here and I know how lucky this small town girl from Missouri is to get to take this in each and everyday.


We also worked on the garden this week as we are actively planting more and more now that the frost has come and gone (hopefully). This week we planted seeds for watermelon, cantaloupe, climbing beans, okra, cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots. Started seed sprouts for pumpkins, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, watermelon and blueberries. Also planted a few starter plants from the local tradesmen and neighbors for peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers. The spinach, green lettuce, potatoes, onions and garlic previously planted are all doing quite well. We are thankful for the large garden but thought we may need assistance with where we planted what. I have been mapping it out via excel, yes nerdy but necessary.


We also spent a portion of the week working on the logistics for the donated books arrival to Albania. The latest is by Tuesday we will have the books delivered to the empty schools in town, classes are canceled till this fall. We will start the joy of unpacking and cataloging the content for the schools and separating the primary and secondary books between the two libraries. To find out more about our mission visit:

https://www.homesteadalbania.com/stockthelibrary


Stay home and safe my friends.

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