Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Back to Normal

Well, all is well again in Lezha. After 5 days in Tirana, it was decided that it was safe for us to return to Lezha. The dams that were all at critical levels when they pulled us out had been tested. They worked and the water levels went down over the weekend. How happy I was when I saw Lezha from the road!

Even though Lezha is ok, parts of Shkoder and Lezha are flooded. Valipoje, Ishull Lezha and a few other villages remain under water still. The evacuation and now clean up of these areas is underway and I'm impressed at how well the situation went. It could have been a disaster. Luckily, no one died and everyone has a place to stay until its safe for them to go back to their homes. These people however wil have a hard time when they return to their homes. This year, their crops will be much smaller and most of them have lost all their livestock. It will take a long time for most to recover from this months flooding.

On the bright side, it has been sunny all week and not nearly as cold as last year. Hopefully this is a good sign that Spring will come quickly. My life is back to normal as I'm translating materials for a project, teaching English, and planning a vacation in 2 weeks. Peter, my sitemate and I, will go to Istanbul and then return through Bulgaria and Macedonia. I'm super excited for a little break. Plus, I need to get away from certain people in my city who are driving me crazy!! Nothing serious but the normal little things that just get to you over time. I can't believe my COS conference is in a month and COS is only 5 1/2 months away! Seems like just yesterday I was packing to come here.....

Hope you all are staying warm and can't wait to see everyone again!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Hello all,

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable holiday season and that 2010 is off to a great start. I spent Christmas in Lezha with another volunteer and for New Year's I was in Durres. On the 2nd, I went to the wedding of the sister of one of my friends from Lezha. Also on the 2nd, we had heavy rain and flooding in Lezha. Well the rain continued and now I am in Tirana.

On the 3rd, I received a call from the country director asking me what the conditions were like in Lezha. I told him there was some flooding but nothing to severe. On the 6th, I received a call from our safety and security director asking again how the situation was. At this point, Lezha was not really affected by the continuous rains. I told her we were all safe and sound - no worries. Well, yesterday I received another call from her again saying that PC decided to relocate us to Tirana. She told me to pack up a weeks worth of stuff and be ready to come into to Tirana.

My sitemates and I were picked up about 2pm by one of the PC drivers and we came into Tirana. We are all staying with different American families. Today we had a meeting about the situation in Shkoder and Lezha and they have decided to keep us in Tirana until at least Tuesday when the reasses the situation. Again, let me tell you all I am fine and wasn't in any immediate danger in Lezha.

I'll post again when I learn more but hopefully my next post will be when I'm back in Lezha!