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.


Seth and Luke do Albania

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


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.