Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fun in the Sun

Now that the weather is warmer, we have been seeing a lot more "life" going on around us. Parks and open areas are full of children playing. Restaurants have tables outside for patrons to enjoy the day as well as a coffee. Here is a picture of us on a slightly cooler day, enjoying dinning in the outdoors.

We also see more animals out now. Birds, dogs and cats are more prevalent than before. Once in awhile we see some ponies grazing (we presume they belong to the Roma "gypsies"). And there are also small lizards out basking in the sun, such as the one at right.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Blooming Beauty

Even though some previous posts have been about flowers, please humor us as we include more :). I'm not sure what these purple ones are, but they are very beautiful.

Since Laura can't really pick flowers here, she contents herself with taking pictures of them. One particular favorite is the lone red poppy among the grass and wild flowers.

The little plant growing out from the rock wall is also pretty cool. The pink flowers on it look rather like flox, but there were only two or three of them. Sorry my shadow sort of blocks it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Universal Easter Tradition

It seems that the world over, those who celebrate Easter will dye eggs. Unlike in America, however, where we use many colors, or even stripes or speckles the preference here seems to be for a red to reddish brown color.

They may decorate them with stickers or egg sleeves. While we saw some sleeves with Disney characters and bunnies on them, most of the sleeves we saw had icons of Saint Nicholas and Mary with Baby Jesus.

I believe the sticker (in Cyrillic script) translates to "Christ" but I'm not certain. It is very hard for me to read the cursive Cyrillic.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Even though most of the people in this area don't celebrate Easter until next Sunday (Orthodox calendar again), we are celebrating today as well. For starters we got our Easter baskets today (Laura put together some treats, including Kinder Eggs and Mozart candy).

We decided to visit the Catholic church to see if they did anything special for Easter. The building itself is made of concrete, a very communist looking Cathedral. On the entry stairs there were Roma begging again (sadly, there were several of them, and I didn't have enough change to divide it fairly, so I didn't give any). Inside it smelled strongly of incense. The seats were full and people were standing. We were surprised to discover that the service was in Albanian. We wonder if they have a Serbian service as well.

When we got home, we saw the Pope giving his Easter address on our Italian channel.

We have seen egg dying kits in the stores but decided to pass this year.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hair Stylin'

Yesterday I (Laura) had long hair, and a part on the left of my head. Now I have a new 'do. What do you think?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Poor Getting Poorer

On the outskirts of Podgorica there is a refugee camp. It is filled with displaced Roma ("gypsies") from Kosovo. Even though they have been living there for ten years, there still doesn't seem to be a plan for "bettering" their situation. While there are a few concrete apartment buildings, most of the living quarters are little more than shanties, hastily errected out of whatever materials could be found.

The Roma come to the city in very inovative "vehicles" such as tractor or lawn mower engines used to power a small cart. They also have carts powered by bike and of course horses or mules.

Children are sent to stand in the middle of busy intersections and beg from cars at stop lights. You see many rooting through the garbage containers looking for some edible scraps. They come to open air restaurants and apartment doors asking for 50 cents or some bread and fruit.

It is heartbreaking. And the worst part is, there doesn't seem to be a simple or quick way to end this cycle.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Earth Laughs in Flowers

We are very fond of flowers. And now that Spring is here, there are lots of them. This delights our eyes while irritating our allergies. Today as we were walking to our English class, we snapped some shots of some of the more interesting plants. Enjoy.