Archive for the ‘Social’ Category

The Value of Education

Friday, June 13th, 2008

If you read about Albania, you will learn that education is valued, a large percentage of the population holds a college degree and nearly everyone speaks 3 or 4 languages (Italian, English, Greek and Russian are the most prevalent). Over the course of 2 years, we have had an opportunity to observe the educational system and have come to appreciate that an education is more than passing an end of year examine. (more…)

When a Government Spies on its Citizens

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

What happens when the government spies on its citizens and recruits individuals to monitor and report on each other? Living in Albania has given some insight to that. In the past under Enver Hoxha, there were approximately 50 years of totalitarian control. During this time, citizens were recruited to spy (more…)


Monday, March 3rd, 2008

We have tired on several occasions to describe the transportation here, but a verbal description just does not capture the experience and so it has been delayed and delayed. But what would a blog on Albania be without discussing the furgons? We must try.

What is a furgon?

waiting in furgon (more…)

Gender Issuses

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Albanians have a very strong view of what men do and what women do. The men sit in the locales and drink coffee, beer and raki while the women do everything else. This seems to be a hold-over from the days when the men were responsible for protecting the family and village. Now, as they sit in the locales, the are very conscientious of any slight, thereby carrying on the ancient and honored tradition of protecting the family. With these strict and deeply embedded mores, it is always a delicate walk to not offend and still offer a different way of sharing responsibilities. For instance….. (more…)

Library Award

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Durres Library

The Durrës Library – the portal to knowledge

One of the best assignments Carol has here in Durrës is her 6 hours a week at the library. Her responsibilities include sitting at the main desk and handing out newspapers to the old men that come in to read and then collecting the newspapers when they are finished. (more…)

I Spy?

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

After one and a half years in Durrës, the newness of having the Americans around is wearing off and it is interesting to see how relationships change. Some have realized we are not the traditional NGO types coming with bags of money and have moved on, some have started telling us their initial views about us, but most are still confused.


Moving boxes

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

At the museum, Criss helped move some of the artifacts from the third floor down to the first floor. These boxes and crates hold the findings of this summer’s (2007) excavation of the amphitheatre. (more…)

Fest Lojë

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

A couple of weekends ago, a Fest Lojë banner appeared at the cultural center. As we asked around town about it, we were told high school students from Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece were coming to Durrës to compete in games, singing and dancing. Our understanding was this was a one day event on Thursday. (more…)

PC Staff

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

One of the real joys of working in Albania is the time we spend with the Albanian staff. Other than the country director and the country program manager, the rest of the staff at Peace Corps are locals. The other day the English program manger was in town to talk with the new volunteer and (more…)

A morning in Tiranë

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

It was unavoidable. Criss had to go to Tiranë for a meeting at the Peace Corps office. It was a 2 day meeting so he was there 2 nights. Normally, a chance to see other parts of Albania are welcomed, but in July, (more…)