A family escapes Europe’s most oppressive communist regime. No big deal, right?
This is an attempt to capture how I had been feeling about leaving Albania in my final months of service there. Who had I become after these two years and what would become of this person?
From vomit stories, surprising literate shepherds, and regretful romance, odd moments are bound to happen when an American lives in Northern Albania for two years. This is a modest attempt to record a few.
Albania finds itself fairing pretty poorly among other European and Balkan neighbors regarding the rights of women and gender equality. With all this in mind I knew that women’s empowerment was an issue I wanted to address during my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in northern Albania.
Although neglected, destroyed, and forgotten many communist era monuments can still be seen today. Will these monuments survive or will they continue to erode from the Albanian landscape and Albanian consciousness?
After having lived in big american cities, life in a small town in Albania proved to be a kind of double culture shock. For better or worse, it isn’t important who you are as much as whose you are.
Some six months after ending my Peace Corps service, I’m trying to look back with more neutral eyes. Considering the difficulties of finding fulfilling work and fitting into a small rural Albanian town, was my two years in Peace Corps worth it? Would I do it all again?