The first week of September it has, just like last year, cooled off a little. Finally. However, it’s still supposed to be around 90 degrees for the weekend. I’m ready for Fall! I have to keep reminding myself, though, that the Fall I know and love in Virginia is nothing like Fall here. There are no trees that shed their leaves in Lezhe, and it rains regularly. But, at this point I’m excited to sleep with a blanket again.
The past few months have been a blur, but a good one. Now that it’s September things will settle down a bit as Albania returns to work. I’m getting back into a routine. But, things are still changing. In between all the adventuring and projects I’ve taken on over the summer it’s become official that I am the only PCV in my site. Jen, my partner-in-crime and friend/supporter/surrogate sister/co-chef and winter snuggle buddy here in Lezhe is back in California permanently with an awesome job following a medical evacuation in June. She’s fine, just not coming back to be my neighbor in Albania 😦
Most of what I am working on these days seems to be tourism related – both in Lezhe and Shengjin. However, school will start up again next week and I’ll hopefully continue with a project Jen and I had going on with the professional high school here. I’m also really excited about the reusable grocery bag project I have been working on all summer with three girls from our Outdoor Ambassadors group. I received a generous donation from Baggu bags of 100 reusable bags (it pays to write letters to companies!) that my parents brought over from the states in May. I’ve helped the girls design a project to disseminate them through a few shop owners that they know at a low price that will help produce additional bags at a local seamstress shop. I was proud of the girls for being really adamant about the fact that the project needed to be bigger than the 100 bags we had in hand. Right now we’ve negotiated a price to produce more bags, but are waiting for the original ones to sell/catch on so we can start production. It’s exciting to see shop owners really “get” the project and want to promote the bags. If any of you have any ideas for how to best promote/produce a reusable bag or have completed a reusable bag campaign, I’d love to hear your thoughts!