Even getting mail is an adventure in Albania

My address in Albania is literally my name, Bashkia Vau Dejes, Shkoder, Albania. Don’t ask me how it works but it does because I got a letter the other day. Normally, the postman will deliver the mail personally in the Bashkia but they requested that I pick it up personally. I think they just wanted to have another coffee. Anyways, I went down to the post office, got my letter, and then sat down or coffee. Before long I had a date with my postman to go for a hike to the Castle Danje the next day. This was Monday. Yesterday, I show up for my 3 o’clock hiking appointment and immediately end up sitting down for coffee. Again we sat and talked for about 30 to 45 minutes and then left to go hiking. I caught a ride on a furgon with my postman to the old Vau Dejes. Before we started hiking he wanted to stop by his house so I obliged. We went to his house and again sat down to have a drink and talk about his family for a bit before starting on the hike for real. We hike up the mountain while he gives me the history of the castle and some of the churches in the area. It was a beautiful hike. He showed me the church where Albania’s national hero, Skenderbeu was married. It was demolished under communism but a new church was built next to the remains. Before reaching the castle we saw another church that surprisingle wasn’ t demolished when Albania was declared and atheist state.
There wasn’t much of the castle when we got to it but you can tell that at one point in time there was a massive structure there. I am not sure how old the castle is but I believe it was used to defend Albania from the Turks.
The bad news is that I accidentally reformatted my SD card thinking it was my flashdrive so I lost all the pictures from the hike, my ferry ride to Bajram Curri (the most beautiful place in Albania) and some great pictures with my host family.

In other news, I am giving English lessons before Judo three times a week, tomorrow I will start working with Rizjan on developing a plan for improving tourism in Vau Dejes, and I introduced myself to the church so I should start working with them in the future. Things are slow but as my language skills improve and my presence in the community becomes more well known I believe things will start to pick up. I will most picture as soon as I take some more because right now I am without any.


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