I had three great visits with three different people today. The first was with an old friend. He’s a high school guy who desperately wants to study medicine in the US. He’s also the most serious Muslim I know. He called me up today and we headed out “for a coffee.” Rather than a coffee, I chose a “bambi” which is sort of like hot chocolate milk. We talked about a wide range of things, but mostly about the Bible, the Koran and various people’s perspectives on Mohamed. As usual we challenged each other with the seriousness of each other’s belief. My message to him is always the same: Someone has to pay for your sins…will it be you, or will you allow Jesus to pay the price for you.
My second coffee was with one of our nominal church members. This time it was a very, very strong Macchiato in another of the numerous cafes in town. I was actually on my way to the bank to do some business and I had to make on those perennial American decisions: Do I do the task on my life, or do I interrupt my schedule and hang out with a brother for a while. I chose the later today and enjoyed a great cup of macchiato and good conversation.
My third visit was with our landlord. Instead of coffee, it was “Russian tea.” Made in a sort of double-boiler tea pot, it’s great stuff to finish the day with. We talked about our kids, the new Prime Minister, the electric situation and all the normal topics of family conversation in Kosovo. We left a little earlier than is typical in order to make a training meeting with the teammate.
I never cease to be amazed by the capacity for relationships that my Albanian friends seem to have. No one is ever too busy to take time for a cup of coffee. Obviously that has implications for business; it also has implications for great relationships. Wouldn’t most of us love to have friends that would help you out at almost a moment’s notice? That’s the people I live among. Sometimes Kosovo drives me crazy. Most of the time living here humbles me. But today was one of those days where I just feel fortunate to live here.