Monday, March 28, 2011

The Rooster Crows At Dawn (Yea, my Gomar it does!)

It’s been one week since I arrived with my host family in Bishqem, Albania(if you’ve already begun singing the Bare Naked Ladies song, you will be assessed a $1 Nerd-Alert fee.  I’ll collect in June 2013.  And yes, I charge interest. How else will I pay my mortgage when I get back?*) So anyway….adjusting to the life of a Peace Corps Trainee has been eye-opening to say the least.

Not only am I in a new country.  Not only are my closest friends in Albania people that I met less than 2 weeks ago.  But….here’s the real kicker, I live on a farm!  A FARM!  Chickens, turkey, cows and me with my iPod and flat-iron!  One of these things is not like the other!

I’ve been fortunate to have been placed with a very warm and welcoming host family…the Kateshi Familje.  They are patient with my language skills considering my only capacity is to smile and nod like a bobble-head on the dashboard of our neighbors’ horse drawn carriage .  I have the Albanian/Shqip skills of a zygote.  On my self-assessment, I made my Week Two skill development target as reaching the embryonic stage!  Knock on wood for me….please/ju lutem!  Oh…and maybe by then, I’ll also have the words to explain why they see me knocking on wood all throughout their home.  For now, they look at me like I have 4 heads.  Or maybe it’s just hard to focus on my solitary head with all that bobbling?!

Did I happen to mention that “Yes” is a head SHAKE and “No” is a head NOD?  An awareness that only comes back to me once I’m mid nod/shake and have to change the movement!  Oy…does anyone know the Shqip word for CHIROPRACTOR?  Paging Dr. Bennett…

Now for those of you who grew up on a farm (do I even know anyone other than my DAD who grew up on  a farm???) this De-Bunked Assumption may come as no surprise.  But for this suburbanite, city-slickin’ desert dweller…I was always taught that the Rooster Crows At Dawn.  Ummm…after these 7 days, I feel that I can, with expert confidence…call BULLSHIT. 

This is not to say that dawn doesn’t bring its fair share of “cock-a-doodle doos.”  It does.  But so does every other waking moment after dawn and well into the afternoon, evening and night fall.  Seriously…its 4pm and just as I type this paragraph there have been a minimum of 6 rooster calls and no signs of letting up! So why were we taught in grade school that a rooster was like a farmer’s morning alarm clock?  Now…I’ve never been much of a conspiracy theorist….but something smells rotten in the state of Denmark!  I find myself questioning everything!  Did the mouse really, in fact eat the cheese?  Does the farmer even live near the dell?  WTF?  My world has flipped turned upside down!  (Actually with Phoenix 9 hours behind now…that’s a literal AND figurative flip.)

So…what should you, all my loyal reader**, take away from this post?  Simple….don’t believe everything you learn in Kindergarten.  And for God’s sake, if you were fished-in to that “All I need to know I learned in Kindergarten” book about 15 years back….get off your lazy gomar, head straight to your nearest public library and start expanding your horizons!

Peace and Love.

*Allow me to pay deference to Bare Naked Ladies, a band that I do thoroughly enjoy. However really?!?…ONE WEEK left something to be desired.  I’m down with Brian Wilson, The Old Apartment and certainly $1,000,000.  Any band that can work Kraft Mac-n-Cheese into song lyrics will forever hold a place in my heart!

**not a typo…not yet convinced I’ll be developing a readership yet.  That would be arrogant. And I’m far too smart and pretty and popular and important  ;-) to be considered arrogant.  And thanks reader….you know who you are.


  1. Melia- YOU LIVE ON A FARM!!!! Ha, that is hilarious (and another reason for me to visit). Thinking about you a lot since you hit the road. Let me know if you meet Cousin Balki (insert diatribe about how he was Romanian, not Alabian or something like that). LOVE!!! Leigh

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  3. Girl!
    Sounds like a very "Walden Pond" experience. I say ditch the flat iron and go au natural...who knows, you may end up having your own "Eat, Pray, Love" on Albania...there are a lot of tall, dark, and handsome boys out there. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I am, for a fact, extremely jealous of your experience...roosters, cows, chickens, sound pretty epic. The antithesis of my move, for sure. I look forward to reading more of your blog and making wise-ass comments as we go along.
    Take care, be safe, and soak it in!


  4. Brevity is the mark of a master.

  5. Hi Melia,
    I just came upon your blog while perusing the PCJs of Albania because I am an Invitee awaiting Staging to serve next door in Macedonia. Beyond wanting to tell you that your writing style is so enjoyable to read, I am writing to ask about a reference in your 'About Me' to having arrived where you are " way of Pittsburgh-ish, PA..." That caught my eye because of your last name, which I have never found to be very common, yet is the family name of my aunt, uncle and several cousins and they all hail from Greensburg, PA. Do you have any connection with any Dunns in Greensburg? If not, oh well, at least I am also a Nittany Lion.
    Keep writing as you do so engagingly and best wishes to you!