2009 was my only full year in Albania, and it sure was a full year. Even though day to day it sometimes seemed like I wasn't getting much done, when I look back on the year, I can see that I have done a lot here. With World Vision, I helped the team do community meetings with over 900 community members in order to design two projects that are getting underway now- one about water, sanitation and hygiene and one about violence in the home and school. I've been working with several different groups of students- a successful Model United Nations team, a Girls Empowerment group (done in Albanian, a real challenge for me) and an Outdoor Ambassadors group (environmental education). I helped another volunteer put on a musical with 45 kids, I helped run a summer camp for 50 kids from all over the country, and I traveled to 6 new countries. I also spent a lot of time traveling around Albania and even more time in my beautiful town of Peshkopi . . .
Anyway, as I get ready to head into the final few months of my service here, I am starting to look forward to when I will leave Albania. I have decided to "take the long way home" and travel for about 6 months before I return to the states. Taking another example from my parent's life, I think that this is the best time for me to see the world. I have a very tentative itinerary below and I'm hoping that you, my friends and family, can help me out with a few things:
1. Take a look at this list. Do you know anyone in any of these places that just might open up their homes for a few nights to a backpacking RPCV (returned Peace Corps Volunteer). I'm traveling on a just got out of the Peace Corps budget, which is basically the same as a still in the Peace Corps budget, which is basically no money! I am hoping to stay with friends and couchsurf when I can. Please help me get connected to people!
2. Have you ever traveled to any of these places? What was the best thing? What should I avoid? These are all new places for me so I am open to all suggestions!
3. Do you want to get a postcard or two? I like sending them, so send me your address and you'll get something from my travels . . .
4. I am doing this trip, for the most part, alone. And so now I'm inviting you to join me! I know that not many people have the freedom to travel for 6 months, but maybe for two weeks? Look over my plan and think about it . . .
June 10- Close of Service in Albania