Final Post

We left Albania with mixed feelings. We wanted to see family and friends in the states, but we knew we would miss our friends in Albania. We are frustrated by the amount of corruption in society, but encouraged that many of the citizens are tiring of it also and not always letting it slide. We look forward to being back in a culture where we intuitively understand what and why, but we will miss the confusion that opened doors for us to explore a different culture. Carol is sad that she will forget much of the language and Criss will not miss something he never had.

Overall, we are very positive about Albania’s future. It is a country that is undergoing tremendous change. The isolationism of the past, the collapse of civil society in the late 1990s and the building of a democratic state have created many problems but have also created many opportunities.

We feel fortunate to have been able to work in Albania to exchange ideas and skills. Our primary goal was to engage in the cultural exchange that results from living in a community and we feel we have been successful in that. Albania is not a third world country where we lived in huts with all kinds of bugs. It really is an emerging nation with many first world comforts, but a third world (or quasi-Medieval, as one volunteer calls it) mentality. The challenges there are in managing resources and resolving value conflicts resulting from all the changes being absorbed by the society. We hope for the best for Albania and the warm people who live there.

Do të marrën mali per ju, Shqipëri….me respekt dhe dashuri

We will miss you, Albania….with love and respect

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