Much beauty can be found in culture, in people.
We finished our meal – at the cost of 55 euro for 11 people – full and happy. Night had fallen up on the mountain, a chilly atmosphere made the best of us all. Each desiring a warm coat, blanket. Sleep was calling us sweetly, speaking our names.
Before we could at last become one with a comfortable bed, a detour was decided. We visited a family. Not just any family; the pastor’s (Detron’s) family. One of many and full of joy–as I found. For them it was 9:30; for us 10:30–not late, but the darkness made it feel later.
No word can describe what followed next.
We reached the door with short time to spare. A short ‘hello’ and quick ‘goodbye.’ Another would soon be waiting for us as well.
“Please, come in.” They said in Albanian.
“We can’t, we’re meeting another,” Said Detron. He’s a man of schedule–flexible to change, but longing for structure in his life. Desiring to know what follows next and going after that.
“No, no–come in!” They insisted.
Detron looked our way. Dumbstruck we looked back; each one of us shrugging in response, individually–all voicing the same thought: Why not?
The moment we said yes, chaos – it seemed – erupted.
One by one, we began taking off our shoes. Hugs and kisses were exchanged with the family we had come to meet and great. Young and old, embraced–kissing cheek after cheek. Loving a complete stranger.
But we weren’t strangers.
The only entity separating us and making us strangers laid between our conflicting dialects. Albanian vs. English. Neither grater than the other, but strong enough to be a barrier.
Our visit lasted, perhaps, 20 minutes. We drank, laughed, and fellowshipped regardless of our different dialects.
The moment was utter bliss.
A time of complete innocence and joy.
We left kissing and hugging. I will never forget the joy I felt that night.