Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Step Out of Character

I'm sitting in my living room watching clouds drifting by, drinking tea and eating apple strudel. It's autumn in Albania! Ilir, the cafeteria manager, gave me free apple strudel today. I exercised enormous restraint and saved it for an after school snack. Egla and I are making applesauce tomorrow with our class. Egla's never made applesauce so I'm really excited to teacher her one of the few things that I can successfully prepare! I love this time of year!

Now on to the real reason for this post. This past Saturday, I was exhausted so I left my friends around 11:00 ish and they continued on to a Salsa dancing bar (they got the information from one of our colleagues.) There, they learned about a beginners Latin dance course that runs for four weeks, two classes a week. Of course, I didn't want to miss out on the fun, but I was a little hesitant about taking Latin dance lessons. If anyone has been my friend or relation for a while, they will know how accident prone and uncoordinated I am. (In fact, I stumbled 4 times yesterday, but didn't fall....which is a miracle.) Really, that's why I swim. I know I won't fall. Back to the story. I decided to throw caution to the wind and at least try one class. That's why I'm here, right? To try new things! All afternoon, I attempted positive self-talk. "Be a swan Holly!" "Laugh and be silly." "Get into it even if you feel and look ridiculous!" "Your in a foreign country for heaven's sake." "What do you have to loose?"

I think that this approach helped. We got to the class and lined up for the basics. I was of course laughing, but I also wanted to take it semi-seriously. After the basics, our instructor said, in Albanian (she was switching back and forth between Albanian and English for us), "Find a partner." Sarah, Tracey and I stood there, completely lost. Thankfully, a guy came right up to me and asked me to dance. Willingly. That part still surprises me. No one had to twist his arm. Or pull him by the ear. Shocking. He (Geani) was an awesome dancer! He wasn't very tall (about 5'7"), but he was incredibly good at leading and counting off (in English for me). Luckily, he had a good sense of humor and when I went back instead of going right he said, "It's no problem." He probably said that phrase close to 10 times. He danced with me the entire hour and a half, even when the instructor asked him to rotate. Now for the amazing part.... I'm actually not bad, when I have a good lead! Hopefully, it's not just beginners lucky (I'm praying that it wasn't a fluke). Needless to say, the three of us signed up for the classes. Monday and Wednesday nights. I am looking forward to it! This is the first place in Albania where the men have been complete gentlemen, which is refreshing. I've decided that I love living the life of an adventurer and I never want to give it up (even when moving back to North America...someday).


Michelle (aka mybelle101) said...

Oh, the adventures you lead!! Kruja looks amazing! I may have to get my passport and play hooky ;)

Chris told all of us about your dance partner last night at Bonco, and said you'd better not get any ideas about marrying an Albanian boy! lol I don't know why you're surprised at him asking you!! You're a catch, and I'm sure he realized it! :)

I love your blog!! Keep 'em coming!

Marcy said...

Holly!!! I'm so glad you went to Albania, if you stay for another year or two I'm sure I'll get to come visit! (COME BACK DURING THE BREAKS!)


Janelle said...

Totally cool story Holly. So glad that you are having a great time.

Jennifer said...

Holly,....NO PICTURE!!! Come on girl, we need a picture too.

KIT said...

salsa!!! any hot-peppers involved?!!! SOOO proud of YOU!

Jennifer said...

Dancing with the Stars has started up again. One of the professionals is from Albania and moved to the states when he was twelve. Just a little trivia for you.