En Route to Albania
September 6, 2015
This trip began before it began. As soon as I settled at my gate in Atlanta someone paged me. It turned out to be Maria Elena Chavez, an outgoing multi-lingual teacher from New Mexico ─ a veteran of a USO tour, no less.
A sleepy 9 ½ hours later we arrive in Rome and woke ourselves up with an expresso. Soon Elena had spotted other members of our group: Sharon and Sam Nichols, both Kansas-born, but now living in Dallas, and Igor Muñoz Gonzalez from the Dominican Republic, a music teacher and performer.
Before our flight left Rome for Tirana, Albania, we were joined by Nancy Ross, an English teacher and Brooke Harrington, an architect doing research on early wooden structures in the Balkans. What a diverse group we were already: a musician, teachers/professors, a theologian, an architect and a writer. And six more participants would meet us in Tirana.
But how in the world would our partners in Tirana ─ Cultural Heritage without Borders ─ turn us into restoration workers? They had their work cut out for them.
– Nancy Neill