Thursday, November 3, 2011


Due to a variety of circumstances, we were recently offered the opportunity to extend our orders from two years to three. Everyone has told us that two years isn't enough time to really get to know the country and that four years is too much.  Three years is the ideal and it looks like it is now ours.  Glenn and I had talked about staying longer in hypothetical terms when we had been told that our replacements had already been selected and June 2013 would be our departure date.  Knowing this, we had decided that if given the opportunity to stay longer, we would. So when the opportunity arose, we jumped at the chance and through a flurry of emails and text messages, said yes, we'll stay for another year.

So we are staying and the reality is sinking in.  This will mean a total of three years in Albania.  Another year of deciding whether "berry" "raspberry" or "cranberry" is the right lipstick color and then waiting 6-8 weeks for the unreliable pouch to deliver it.  Another year without my own furniture and personal belongings. Another summer of unbearable heat and an unreliable water supply.  A year is probably another 100 or so dinners and receptions we will attend and host.  We'll have another year of Glenn's long unpredictable hours and middle of the night Blackberry messages.  Another year without our close friends and family near by.  We'll have another year of AFN infomercials.  By the time we return to the States, every show on HGTV will be a new episode for us.  Maybe House Hunters International will finally be house hunting in Albania?

Sidney will now be 4 1/2 when we leave instead of 3 1/2.  He'll probably be fluent in Albanian by that time.  Hopefully his English skills will be half as strong.  We'll be able to fly back to the United States without a diaper bag in hand.  Heck, he'll be able to carry his own bag this time.  (Maybe this plan isn't half bad after all.........).

Another year here means a one year reprieve from having to pack up the house and relocate yet again.  After another year we might even be able to feel as though we have a small amount of stability in our lives.  Another year here means I will be able to prolong starting the torturous job search process.  We'll have another year to explore the Balkans and beyond.  I'll have another year to learn the lay of the land and fine tune my Albanian driving skills. (Although Virginia may revoke my license when they see what those skills have become). We'll have longer to cement our current friendships.  Maybe I'll also figure out which berry color is the right lipstick shade for me.

We're staying..........and we're so excited to be doing it!

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