Albania. America. The names sound so similar, yet the differences between these two countries could hardly get any larger! Hanke Cakoni, the Albanian stay-at-home mom and caregiver, is incredibly different from Tina Lorance, the American teacher who tells you to shut up, grin, and bear it.
Hanke was married at 22, and now, at 38, has four children. Her husband makes less than 5,800 lek, (about 64 US dollars) a month, yet they still manage to provide for the family, (and scrape by,) including their son, Eli, a boy with a mental disability.
Tina, married at 27, now with two healthy sons. She and her husband both work and the Lorances live comfortably, with some money to spare. For Hanke, life centers around her handicapped son, Eli, while her husband, Hajdar, works as a teacher. Her other three children, daughter Artila and sons Armond and Ardian, go to school, returning home for lunch. She spends most of her time cooking, cleaning, and caring for Eli. In contrast, Tina spends most of her time at school, where she teaches Junior High English, Reading, and Speech. Her kids, Jared and Scott, stay at school most of the day, and spend their free time swimming, playing football, and doing karate. The different lifestyles of these two women are probably based on the places they live. Hanke’s Albania, in Europe, covers just over 11,000 square miles, with a population of less than 4 million people. On the opposite end of the spectrum is America, with a large and growing population of 311,500,000+, and a square mileage of 3,794,000 miles. Albania is also much more rural than it is urban, about 63% rural. However, the USA is surprisingly 84% rural, probably because it has such a large land area that cannot all be urbanized. Another aspect of family that is different is the way they prepare the meals. Hanke spends a lot of time in the kitchen, preparing each meal individually, right before the family is about to eat. Unlike Hanke, Tina prepares the entire week’s meals,...
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