Kosova 1, part 2
The people we met at the church were very nice and kind. We met Artur briefly and he told us we would be able to stay in the church’s guest house for a few days until we could find something more stable. The key here is to learn what it took me a bit longer to understand—there are no guarantees in Kosova and you must learn to be flexible and flow with the way things go. There had been people staying the guest house and they had to be moved for us, so it was several hours before we actually went there. In the meantime, we tried out best to communicate with the people who were there at the church, I think they had been practicing a skit for the kids in church.
I met a girl named Jeta, which means “life” in Albanian (which is the language they speak in Kosova). She was 15 or so, about 6 years younger than me, and she knew enough broken English to speak with us about Kosova. Of our group, only 2 had been in this part of the world before—our trip leader, Mike, and Kevin, who was already in Pristina and helping with Campus Crusade. They had been in Albania the summer before as help for the refugees coming out of Kosova; they’s driven around, trying to show the Albanian version of the Jesus Film at the refugee camps.
As we planned on leaving, some children (from the neighborhood?) came by and crowded around us. While it was cold and we were bundled up, they were wearing very little to keep them warm, but they appeared not to notice. They flocked around us as we left in the arranged truck and car to carry us to the guest house.
The guest house was nice by Kosova standards. By ours, it was still be built and had a cabin feel to it. We were told to leave our shoes inside the door, and then were shown to our respective rooms. There were basically two rooms for us, filled with cots and an electric heater. The bathrooms (one upstairs, one downstairs) were different. One had a regular toilet and sink. Across from the toilet there was a shower spicket, with a drain underneath for showers. There were also bottles filled with water, but I’ll get to that later. The second bathroom was similar except that the toilet was Turkish. If you’ve ever used a Turkish toilet, you won’t forget it. Its like a very large urinal, with the porcelain covering a portion of the wall, then all the way down to the floor and out into the floor a bit. There are two raised spots for your feet, and there is a hole in the corner. Some don’t flush, but I think this one did. I did not like that bathroom and it quickly became the men’s room, except in emergencies. Next to the bathroom upstairs was a meeting room/kitchen with more bottles of water, and there was also a bedroom down the hall where some other people with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) were staying.
Our purpose for coming to Kosova was simple: we were working for Samaritan Purse, delivering shoeboxes filled with age appropriate toys, supplies, candy for kids of many ages. Samaritan’s Purse ships shoeboxes all over the world to children in need. We were going to deliver the boxes to kids in the schools during the week before Christmas. We also were there to work with Campus Crusade, showing the Jesus Film in Albanian to people all over the city at night. Artur’s church (one of only a few at the time, since most people in Kosova are Muslim or Catholic by heritage) was a connection for our purposes and they helped us out immensely.