Archives for the month of: August, 2013

Elbasan Youth Summer Camp

“Oh! how I love, on a fair summer’s eve,
When streams of light pour down the golden west,
And on the balmy zephyrs tranquil rest
The silver clouds, — far, far away to leave
All meaner thoughts,…”
John Keats

day in Librazhd

I work with youth, which is to say I am normally exhausted and yet continually inspired.  During the month of July, my fellow volunteers, alongside our local Albanian counterparts, organized a month-long summer camp for youth.  Decried as folly by some, I would have thought them right when on the first day we had only 5 participants, but 5 is 5 and I would have been happy with any number, great or small, of attentive young minds.  Ultimately we had about 25-30 participants with a strong core of 15 that persisted weekly to seek out what knowledge and activities we had imagined.  Take that nay-sayers.

A small smidgen of the things we did included: English Discussions, Health Discussions, Drawing classes, Salsa dance classes, Personal Development, Creative Writing, and hiking trips and outings.

Youth Groups Exchange

“The ritual has meaning.” 
-Dr. Abraham Verghese

Another quick update on work related things. Finally after much planning and multiple setbacks, I was able to organize the final activity of the Elbasan Youth Council, a youth exchange with the Durrës Youth Movement.  It went well enough I think.  They talked about things they had done and some of the challenges of being active young people in current Albanian society.  The original intention was to begin building towards a national youth movement – which now I think is a very long way off, but not entirely impossible. Thanks especially to fellow volunteer, Sara, who organized with me and to Friends of Albania for funding the whole venture. Oh look, a picture of the group.

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Seth and Luke do Albania

“Real life is fine, but you can only take so much of it.” 
-Dylan Moran

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I took a week off to travel in the deep south of Albania with visiting friends Seth and Luke.  I’d like to  recount some sort of story, some amusing account of adventuring.

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Blog from one of the Group 16 volunteers. They have been in country about 5 months so it’s nice to see a fresh take and be reminded of those things that are different about Albania, that I’m already accustomed to.

Holy Shqip Xhilli is in Albania

After over 75,000 views and over 200 comments I have disabled the comment feature on my blog. I have also provided a response post regarding many of the criticisms that people have had regarding these observations. Thank you again for all the positive comments – your posts really made MY day! Please check out my feedback. Diten e mire!!!

During my short time living in Shipëria, I have noticed many things that are different here, that someone in America may notice.  You may notice that I often use the word different to describe things in Albania, because things are not necessarily better or worse here, but they are different.  In the end, attitude is the main factor in opinions of whether one country in better than another.  I feel that I can learn many things from Albanians and in turn they can learn many things from me.  Neither country is…

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