It is known that from the folklore of the people, of any country in the world, sayings, proverbs, anecdotes, etc., which have been handed down from generation to generation, are always full of efficacy and truthfulness, despite the passing of time.
Albania is very rich in this respect, but what I intend to report, is a saying that began to circulate on the Albanians' mouths only at the beginning of the 90 years, only when for some years - from April 1985 - the dictator was now dead. And yet, these popular sayings arise spontaneously. Most of them were not written, but only verbally inherited, but one thing must be kept in mind: if they were to be named in their content, a person who did not like the totalitarian regime, even the spontaneity of popular sayings it was compromised, or rather, oppressed.
It would seem strange to those unfamiliar with the political and social history of Albania, but the saying, addressed as an appreciation to altruistic and heartfelt people: "Only Mother Teresa can do these things, you were as good and generous as Mother Teresa!" only at the beginning of the years could 90 expand and pronounce itself with satisfaction and conviction, with all the emotional charge of the respective interlocutors. But first, no!
The little big woman, Santa Teresa - Gonxhe Bojaxhiu - Albanian by birth ironically, from Albania has lived in the distance for all her life, with so much regret. He lived far away not only from his homeland, but also from the place and home in Albania, where his mother Drane and his sister, Age, had moved from Skopje, Macedonia. Despite her various attempts and requests to the Albanian government, to allow her to have her sick mother transferred to Rome in the years' 60, this was not granted. She was able to meet in Italy only with her brother Lazër, who had been there for years, a refugee here. And it was always the brother who gave her the news of her mother's disappearance, without her children - Mother Teresa and her brother Lazër - could see her, much less assist.
The totalitarian regime considered her a spy of the Vatican, so she was intransigent towards him. When in 1989, the communist dictatorship in Albania saw itself in agony, Mother Teresa was finally allowed to visit Albania!
With a series of prohibitions and settings, regarding the itinerary of the journey, with the obligation to visit not all the cities that you would have chosen to visit, to stay for only two days, etc.
But, since then, Mother Teresa continued to return more and more often to Albania and among the 1991-1992, she opened various missionary centers in Albania - of the Congregation founded by herself, "Missionaries of Charity" - in various cities, where the volunteers worked with white dresses with blue stripes.
In the 1991, two of these missionary homes were opened in my hometown of Tirana. I especially want to talk about one of them.
On the street I used to go to school every morning and to return home - Rruga and Elbasanit - there were two houses on both sides. It was a bit unusual at that time, from an urbanistic point of view, to see these villas. Not so much for the luxury that they contained, but for the fact that most of the capital's population lived in state-owned buildings, in their respective condominiums. The only exception was the houses of a single floor usually built in tiles called "qerpiç", characteristics of the inhabitants of Tirana, "I tironas", autochthonous ones.
one, the cottage that as a child impressed me so much, and do you know why?
Because there lived one of the exponents of the only party in power and of the government, for which his house was guarded and protected by a soldier at the entrance, always with a machine gun in his hand and an air of fear. It is also probable that his daughters read this story of mine today, I considered this fact in short. In the end, we went to the same primary school with them, we are the same age.
I feared that, at any moment, perhaps distracted by the chatter with my friends, I would have crossed that invisible line that separated the rest of the road and the house of the communist leader, so, the risk of getting me back from the grim-looking military ...
The other two-storey house was the Center of the District Council - during totalitarianism, each district had a chief advisor, strictly attached to the only party in power - so, this one also emanated as an institution, a cold and detached aspect. The population always felt under observation when they passed by it, and any move or simple word, it was known that this institution analyzed and filtered it and decided what direction the life of that particular citizen would take later on, persecuted if he had lacked respect. to the ideology in force.
This last house, in 1991, we began to see it with different eyes, finally!
Because it changed its function, the missionary sisters of the Order of Charity of Mother Teresa moved there! We had noticed movement, furniture that was taken away, evidently because the sisters did not like furniture of a certain value, but rather, simplicity.
When we passed in front of us, we in the adolescent times, we finally felt more relaxed and not only:
I remember some of these volunteers now. The impact for us, to see their presence in Tirana, to begin to understand the purpose of their mission, to notice them on the street with their typical white clothes with blue stripes and sandals, barefoot, was a novelty.
One of the innovations that brought the wind of change in the political system in Albania.
One day when I passed by, I came back from school with some friends, one of them went out to say goodbye and gave us to take home many religious objects, medallions with the little Madonna etc, among which I remember a small statue of the little Madonna that lit up at night and they told me to give it to my mother.
So I did and my mother still retains that statue, at a distance of 25 years.
Finally, Mother Teresa had returned to Albania, after so many years of unjust denial of this sacred right for her.
Finally, Albania was opening up to the world, albeit with due suffering, insecurity and fragility.
And I do not mean to stay on the subject, "suffering" only because of the lack of the practice of faith or religious worship, but with the typical suffering and unease that resulted in the total isolation of about half a century, in various social aspects.
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