Monday, March 07, 2005

Gnjilane hospital trip

I've been working with the commander of the Camp Bondsteel hospital to let him know what I'm learning about the clinics in my municipality. He's been pretty supportive and invited me to a meeting with the Gnjilane Regional Hospital Administrator. It was snowing pretty heavily this morning so we got a late start. After a long meeting, the hospital administrator invited us to stay for lunch. We met him at Restaurant Bujana. The building has a castle's architecture on the outside and is decorated with the same theme inside. The menu was generic restaurant food though... pizza, burgers, salads, steak, chicken & fish.

After lunch we went back to the Gnjilane hospital for a tour. The dialysis clinic was the highlight. The patients were talkative and the staff was proud of their work.

Back to Letnica

Last week I had a chance to go back to Letnica, the place I visited my first day here. This time it was with the lieutenant who 'owns' the village so I got to see how he does business and meet some new people. He took me to the top of a hill that overlooks Letnica to see another village. This is the view back down into the valley. (Towards the right is the Church of the Black Madonna)

On the way back down the hill we walked past a few buildings along a river that took advantage of the water power.

This man came out of the building in the previous picture and invited us in. He demonstrated how he ground grain using a mill powered by the water that flows below his shop. (I couldn't get a better picture with all the dust floating in the room.)

On the way back we stopped at the coffee shop we always stop at. The coffee shop owner is very friendly and a lot of fun to talk to, but in every picture he looks depressed. The picture above my head is of Gjergj Kastrioti. He's a heroic warrior from the 1400's who defended Christianity from the Muslims. The Albanians still consider him a hero even though they themselves have now converted to Islam. ***EDIT: The Kastrioti information I published above was told to me by an Albanian Kosovar. I didn't double-check the facts and have periodically been receiving comments that support or conflict with what I printed. I didn't intentionally print anything false and appreciate the feedback. However the comments below should provide more resources for you to learn more. I will be closing the comments at this time. Thanks. END OF EDIT***