It’s only 10:50 AM and I’ve been up since 9. Most people do get up earlier on Saturdays but when I can I prefer to sleep in a little later, especially if I’ve been up almost till 3:00 AM that same day (which is the case on many a day).
Nevertheless, despite the few hours of sleep, I had to get up. I’m a husband and a father of a two-month old now and there are more responsibilities that need to be taken care of. For example…
My wife let me know a day prior that we had run out of cooking gas. Here in Tirana, the use of gas ovens is well-spread and people prefer to use them as a good means of saving on energy. My personal experience with overcharged energy bills from CEZ Distribution, is only one among thousands of Albanians who complain every month at its doors.
Anyway, I had to get the gas tank out of the oven and thanks to my father, I could at least get it to be refilled the very next day after we ran out. I’m just glad that he was available as I do not like to mess with gas.
Reading Baby Development information
I’m very proud of my two-month old. Though I regret being outside of the house for most of the day, I call home several times and Skype with my wife several times as well, so that I can at least see them both face-to-face and talk so that my son can hear my voice. One thing that my wife and I have done early on is to get ourselves informed about our child’s stages of development and needs so that we can be better prepared when they come. One great source for me has been a website called BabyCenter, which I had visited years earlier, but now follow religiously through email updates so that I can at least know what is going with my son’s development.
There are currently a number of well translated Albanian books on pregnancy and child development, which my wife has used and she likes, also we were given a special book at the maternity hospital before we got out, which has been very helpful as well. For our family, the added advantage of all these sources of information has helped manage the sifting of good and bad counsel that you get when you are pregnant or rearing a child anywhere, much more so in Albania.
Needless to say, everyone has their own theories about what to do when you are pregnant, and how to raise your son or treat him when he is not well. Most of the counsel that we get is from our parents and close friends, but obviously there are times when such counsel contradicts with what we have learned or is not in keeping with the latest medical knowledge and child development studies that we can glean from more reputable sources such as our doctor or websites like the one I mentioned. Though I have not made a big effort to check out the material available in printed format, from what I have seen, there are a growing number of such books coming out regularly in Albanian.
Managing school work
Last but not least of my chores for this Saturday is trying to get my school work done. Every two weeks my MBA program requires me to submit a set of course work and assignments that do require independent study and research time on top of everything else that I have to joggle during most of my work-week days.
In the past few years Albania has seen a marked increase in the number of private universities that now offer all sorts of degrees for the undergraduate level and recently for your master’s degree as well. The response by students has been overwhelming, thus the response of private universities has kept up with demand both in their number and now more so in their degree offerings. Though the education offered by the state universities is well established, private universities compete more in terms of better premises and educational materials, though in the end it is the same teachers who teach in the state universities, who also teach in the private ones. However, private universities have the advantage to attract foreign educated teachers due to their more competitive salary levels and conditions. However, it is till too early, in my opinion to make a clear differentiation. One important development is the fact that quality universities will continue to distinguish themselves with time (not just student numbers) through their quality of teaching and level of students who graduate.