I returned Friday from my visit to Vau i Dejes. It is a lot smaller than I expected. We don’t even have a bank! I am not too worried about it because Shokder, the bicycle capital of Albania, is about 15 miles away so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to get to the bank there. The municipality of Vau i Dejes has about 12,000 citizens. About half of those live in the city and the other half and spread out in the 8 surrounding villages. The municipality is settled in a quiet valley surrounded by mountains. There is a hydro-electric dam that I can see from the front balcony of my apt. Behind the damn is a beautiful mountain lake.
I am lucky to be working with the Vau i Dejes municipality because they have had a Swiss development agency come in and help them develop a Strategic Vision. This will be helpful because most of the information I need to perform a SWAT analysis or needs assessment has already been collected. I also have a good idea where the city would like to be in the future so I can make sure my projects align with their strategic vision.I will write more about Vau i Dejes and what I am working on there once I move to site.
My visit there reinforced that I need to keep working on my Albanian because even though a fair number of people knew some English they would often switch to Shqip mid sentence. My counterpart and several of my co-workers expressed interest in helping my learn Shqip and my counterpart’s son helped me study a little.
Here are some pictures of Vau i Dejes from my apt.