Wednesday, January 18, 2017


It is hard to believe after nearly a year of filling out forms, getting all the paperwork, finger prints and what not I have finally gotten my final clearance to serve in Peace Corps Albania. The US Government is now familiar with all my bodily fluids and functions, my legal history and work experience. It has been like the creating the most amazing dating profile ever! But I am  now valid and the real work begins. 

It is an unusual time to be going into service. The United States is entering somewhat unknown territory after the 2016 elections. It is also interesting considering this is the 100 year anniversary of World War I. In so many ways, Albania and the Balkans are still reverberating from that war, and I seem to know so little about it.

In these last weeks before I leave, I will be trying to learn this very obscure language, which for some reason we English speakers call "Albanian" but the people of this beautiful land call Shquiperi. I have been told that the word stands for Eagle, and Albanian comes from a northern tribe of the geography. Apparently the English had trouble with the pronunciation and chose Albanian instead. I think Shqiperi is so much more melodic.

So it is off to start packing in a way I never have before. What do you take when you are leaving for two and a half years? A different climate, limited resources compared to what I am used to from California, but not exactly like living in the middle of a jungle or desert. They have wifi, which in some ways I am not so sure I am happy about. It seems the Internet is so full of anxiety and frustration, it might be good for my soul not to be so connected. It might be nice to not know what is going on.

I am so looking forward to the beautiful land to which I will be venturing. Before I was burned out of my living situation in the California Fires of 2015, I had the pleasure of living in the beautiful mountains of Eastern Napa County. But it seems Albania will have such beauty and more.

My hopes for this journey are numerous. I hope to be a good representative of the United States of America. I hope to be of service to the community I have been assigned. I hope I can become somewhat proficient in the language. As a soundly middle aged female, the work force and culture often has little use for us older but wider gals. I am so grateful that I will be able to be of some use, to contribute to something once again.

So, stay tuned, I will update my progress as often as I can. I hope to "vlog" as well on Youtube so we shall see how that goes, and also do all that social media stuff that goes along with modern life. I also want you to know that the views expressed in this blog are those of me only and are in no way representative of the Peace Corps, these are my personal reflections on my experience.

Until next time, all the best to you!

5 comments:

  1. I will follow your Vlog & Youtube post to see what adventures you find along the way. I will have no fears because I have faith that the prayers that I have said in your behalf have been heard. Love You Stephanie, Travel Safe My Dear Friend. Smell Many Flowers Along The Way

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    1. Thanks! With your prayers I know all will be well!

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  2. Wowza Stephanie!!! what an adventure! Please tell lots of tales as you travel! It's going to be AMAZING! lol as i hear of you going to Albania for two years, my inner selfish brat says, "but I wanted to catch up with her in the States this year!" My outer person says, "Go Stephanie, go, have fun, enjoy!"

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    1. Dear Unknown, we can always catch up any way you wish! Thanks for the good wishes!

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  3. Holding you in good thoughts, Stephanie!!!

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