On Thursday, I was honored to have supper at the home of Arbnesha (“Buci”) and Astrit Nixha in the International Village, a new residential development a short distance outside Prishtina.
Buci (pronounced “Bootsy”) is the UP theatre professor responsible for the senior acting class (Viti 4); her friendship and support have been invaluable throughout the semester. Her husband Astrit is one of the architects and masterminds behind International Village, which consists of more than 100 homes that are “American” in their design, function, and appearance–yet another way in which Kosovars have demonstrated their appreciation for the best of America.
I was joined by Prof. Hazir Haziri, Buci’s cousin Mentor Nimani and his friend Jim O’Rourke. Mentor was one of the three Kosovars who testified before a congressional subcommittee in 1999 about the refugee crisis in Kosova. (His testimony is available on the C-SPAN Video Library.) He has since become an American citizen, and Jim was his sponsor.
Buci served us a delicious and authentic Albanian meal highlighted by an egg dish similar to quiche and her favorite sausages from her hometown of Peja. A special treat was a pink drink made by her aunt from rose petals; I’ve never tasted anything like it before. For dessert, we had watermelon–a favorite in the Balkans and as well as for anyone from the southern US.
As a thank-you gift for her kindness throughout the semester (and this wonderful evening!), I gave her a silver drama mask necklace that I had bought in Athens during my recent visit.
The following are pictures from our evening together. What wonderful food and fellowship…so typical of Albanians, who are famous for their hospitality. Faleminderit shumë, Buci and Astrit!
Click on any image to go into slideshow mode.