Monthly Archives: April 2015

Balkan Lynx Recovery project

PPNEA traps photos of wild life using motion sensitive cameras.  I went out with Bledi, the scientist last week to see how this works.  How it works is cameras are placed on snowy mountain ridges so lots of hiking and great views.

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Bledi tests the sensitivity of the camera by acting like a lynx.

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Practicing doing less

One of the primary reasons I came to Peace Corps was to see if I could stop being such an overachiever.   Prior to Peace Corps I had learned to acknowledge I was an overachiever and laugh that I was annoying (no really, even I get tired of myself) and insecure but I never got much further.  In the last year I have made a practice of stopping, not just slowing down but actually stopping, taking a nap, trusting that whatever will get done.

I have trained 42 university women to lead GLOW clubs.  They started leading their clubs this week.  I feel like I have sent 42 children off for their first day of school.  I am so excited to hear how it went.  In the mean time, I came home and took a nap.

GLOW club a Fan Noli GLOW club at  Fan Noli GLOW club at Fan Noli GLOW at Aleks Buda HIgh School

GLOW Tirana 36 strong

When we started GLOW Tirana we anticipated training 6 – 10 university women to run the four GLOW clubs at four local high schools.  We would send them in groups of two or three and they would practical experience running a youth program after a few hours of classroom training.  Forty women showed up.  Thirty six completed all the class work.  36 divided by 3 does not equal 4.  We have a math  problem and are working to get more school programs set up this week.  What a lovely problem to have in a country where the idea of volunteerism really meant forced labor just 20 years ago.  This new generation is excited to pitch in and make their Albania a better place.


We expected to lose some trainees after the “lady bits” discussion. We were wrong.



“Emancipation is not an import.” A project to document and celebrate Albanian women in history. Tragically, these female heroes are absent from Albanian school books.IMG_1918 028 041 035

One great idea per day

One of PPNEA’s project, Eagles and Castles, includes an economic development requirement.  No one cares about the environment if they are cold/hungry/poor.  PPNEA helped a local NGO in Butrint train marginalized women to bake Albanian treats for tourists.  Tourists come over on a boat from Corfu to tour the ruins of Butrint.  At the end of their walk they can now buy traditional Albanian foods for refreshment.  This project was so successful when it started that the vendors ran out of goods before noon.  They learned to make more and have been selling steadily since.

Today, in the office, the project coordinator wondered aloud how they might expand the local vendor program.  I asked if any vendors were selling good at the boat dock as tourists waited to depart.  Ding!!  Idea launched and engaged.  Vendors will start selling at teh boat dock in May as the season starts.

I figured I would end the work day right there. Solid success.  Quit while I am ahead.  Go home and take a nap.  I feel like I am finally getting the hang of Peace Corps.