I hope this post finds you all doing well and having enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. Now for 2016!!
I've communicated with most of you about how I am "sharing" my experiences here in Albania. For now it is much easier and faster for me to "post" in Facebook. So you can follow what I am doing by "friend-ing me" on my Albanian Facebook. My Albanian Facebook is "Deb Ne Shqiperi" - which means "Deb in Albania." You can look back through the photos and postings to see what's going on.
Also, If you did sign up for this blog, you will automatically be updated when I post something in the future.
Two other volunteers are posting different types of updates and if you are interested in hearing different perspectives, you can subscribe to their blogs.
For in depth perspective on different facets on life/history/challenges in Albania you can subscribe to syshqipponje.wordpress.com
This stands for "Eagle Eye" and the double-headed eagle is the flag symbol for Albania. Sue Weiss is my colleague serving in the capital, Tirana and her assignment is at USAID (more like a regular job than many of us). She has a long career in Marketing and is an exceptional writer who loves doing research (which you will see/notice when you read her blogs).
The other blog I can share with you is from my BFF in the Peace Corp, Alison Bregstein. Alison is a New Yorker and has a NY wit and perspective on her PC journey. She posts several times a month. Her assignment is in the Regional Development Agency (another NGO) in the south of Albania. She is who I went to Paris with for Xmas and NYE (and a short trip to Italy).
Her blog is:
I wish you all a wonderful year! And big thanks to everyone who has sent emails, cards, care packages and supportive thoughts! This has been an amazing 10 months (already) filled with culture, special moments, hard days, learning, helping others, making friends, surviving the elements (heat and bitter damp cold, seasonal food living, etc.
My work in the local government is less specifically defined as they (the Mayor and his Bashkia staff) find their way through all the territorial reforms and organizational changes. My Bashkia building is being remodeled so I work out of my house and through "coffee" meetings. I continue to meet different people from other organizations (NGO's and such) and find ways to do what I'm passionate about "helping people be the best they can be." This year, I hope to pull together a meeting (jointly with my Mayor) which includes all the organizations and people doing work in my town, Vau Dejes. By having them present their "2016 overview" to each other, we hope to see overlap, combine efforts and more effectively support the work being done to help the citizens of Vau Dejes.
I feel your love and support from afar. Take good care and I will continue to be in touch over time. Facebook will give you the "photo blog" of my journey.
Lots of love and peace in these challenging times in the USA.