Monday, February 20, 2012

Bethany Orphanage

For the past few months, I have been volunteering at Bethany Orphanage with my aunt, Kristi, and my cousin, Sofi.  We go for a few hours on Tuesday mornings to play with the toddlers there.  Many orphanages in Albania are dreary places to live, and the children are not always properly taken care of.  However, Bethany is a wonderful orphanage with beautiful facilities and workers who truly care about the children.  There are about twenty toddlers that we play with, and they are all so precious!  Many of these children lived in awful situations and witnessed horrific events before coming to live at the orphanage, and as a result, some of them are very emotionally scarred.  They receive wonderful care at Bethany, but it is still a hard life to live in a home with twenty other toddlers and only a few workers to share between them, without a family and without one-on-one attention.  It has been a wonderful experience to be able to go for a few hours a week and love on these little ones.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


For the past few weeks, it's been snowing a lot here.  It's warmer in Tirana than in the rest of the country, so we've gotten nothing but rain and a few snow flurries yesterday morning.  But Mount Dajti, which is a fifteen-minute cable car ride from Tirana, is absolutely covered in snow.  On Monday, we went up to Dajti with some friends and spent the day playing in the snow.

Unfortunately, other areas of Albania haven't been having so much fun with the snow.  It's one of the coldest winters that has struck Albania in a very long time, and most areas up north are covered in snow.  Several of our friends who live in Tropoja in the far north of Albania are trapped in their houses under several feet of snow, and a few people have even died in the bad weather.  We frequently hear helicopters leaving the capitol to take supplies to those who are trapped. 

On the boarder of Kosovo, very near Tropoja, an avalanche crushed several houses and killed ten people from one family.  Only one five-year-old girl was pulled from the rubble alive and unharmed.  Her parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles are all dead.

Pray for this little girl, as well as all the others in the north who are trapped in their houses.