Enter the 28 year old male American Peace Corps Volunteer who without realizing it, will remind Albanian mothers of their sons who live abroad and will provoke sadness as well as motherly compassion.
adding up all the things Albanians asked for help with, (besides emigrating to America) the most common request was “teach me English.” Neither I nor my site mate are part of the English teaching sector but we nonetheless decided to give it a shot.
The tale of the tortoise’s magic leaf, Medical science from the mountains, and the tale of the ugly sister are some of my favorite folklore from Edith Durham’s “High Albania”
In 1908, the people of northern Albania, specifically those who resided in the mountains, lived much as they had since antiquity. Foreign empires came and went but seldom did the conquerors possess the effort or the incentive to conquer the “wild tribes” of the north. In this way, Northern Albania had come to be seen by those of Western Europe as “the Land of the Living Past.”
The trip between my city and the capital is 5 hours of curvy roads high in the mountains. This leaves you with lots of time to look out the window. One day I noticed that outside of the town Burrel there are bridges in the middle of nowhere. Giant concrete monstrosities 100 feet high.
my most enjoyable and cutest project in Albania: a reading program for preschool children.
Having been sent to perhaps the poorest corner of Europe where subsistence agriculture was still a fact of life, I decided to apply for a grant to start growing a cash crop. Sage.