President Obama recently said “Life as a peace corps volunteer isn’t always easy”
It has not been easy but I hit the jackpot of Peace Corps sites.
Lezhe is located in the North-west of Albania about 7km from the coast so that there is easy access to the beach in Shengjen. Lezhe is also at the heart of a several transportation routes. This means that I am about an hour away from Shkoder in the north and Tirana in the south.
I created a presentation with a little more statistical information about Lezhe for a training workshop that is available online.
In short summary though: The city has a population of about 30,000 people in a region of about 222,000 people. In the Lezhe region only about 40% of the population live in cities with the remaining population residing in the surrounding villages.
My work has been slow up until this point but I have been keeping busy working with youth groups and getting to know my community. I am sure as time goes on work will ultimately become busier.
I am working at the regional government office. It is the second level of government. In the Region of Lezhe there are 3 districts with 5 cities and 16 communes. It is the role of the regional government to assist in regional planning and aid in cities and communes with technical assistance among other things.
My role in all this – I am not sure just yet.
I will be splitting my time between working in the regional government office and working with a newly formed regional development agency, LERDA, the Lezha Regional Development Agency. It is a separate non-profit that was created by the regional government. LERDA’s mission is to:
Promote sustainable economic-development and social prosperity in the Region contributing in development strategies, building capacities and implementing processes of creating networks of partnerships.
Ultimately LERDA plans to focus on business development, social development, tourism, rural & agricultural development and environmental protection.
While work is slow I have been enjoying the beach, walking to my kalja (castle), and enjoy spending time with my new friends in Lezhe and with fellow Peace Corps Volunteers.