Then the hippies moved in to the neighborhood…

One of the upsides (and downsides) to moving around is that there are always new people. This is really sad when you leave a place with amazing friends and people you have grown to love (Almaty I am looking at you). But it is great when you don’t like your neighbors because you know they will change. I have been so lucky to find good people wherever I have lived— and Tirana is no different.


In the small little community we live in here, I think we are getting the reputation as being the hippies next door. Let’s recap:

  • My 14 months old still breastfeeds.
  • We use cloth diapers about 50% of the time.
  • My daughter is often only wearing the diaper.
  • My husband has started composting.
  • My husband and daughter water the plants at night even though the community has a gardener to do this.
  • I take my little ladder in the evenings and pick the fruit of the trees to make juice.
  • I make my own yogurt (Have I mentioned that I have started making homemade yogurt?)
  • We only loosely believe in shoes.
  • Most of my neighbors has seen me walking the dog in my PJs.
  • We are not religious.
  • The little elephant is basically in charge.


And, yesterday, my husband started to make clay out of the earth. The ground here really is more clay then mud— hence the composting is really helping our plants. He thought it would be fun for the Little Elephant to start playing with clay. She agreed. And lots of water and mud was involved. She was only wearing a diaper, so who cares that her whole tummy was covered in mud, her pink sparkly shoes were saturated with muddy water, and she had muddy hand prints in her hair? We certainly didn’t. The other kids in the neighborhood quickly came over and after some protests of “eww that is muddy”, they decided to play along. And then they were dirty too. So, yes, I guess we are the hippies that moved in next door and are corrupting your children.

I do apologize to the parents, especially those of the boys who were still wearing their church clothes. Oops!


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