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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Enxhi Merpeza; Tirana, Albania; Fifth Week

This week led us to a project with the Harvard Grad Student and we worked on the logistics of airports in the Balkan region—statistics mainly so it was a tad tedious but not unbearable. It seems to me that statistics are more “fun” when done for an actual purpose and not just for practice. It was a data collection of all Balkan international airports compared to Albania’s sole Mother Theresa Airport. We ended up piling some more interesting work to our translations and PR workload—we met with the National Coastal Agency’s director, Auron, and we're working with them to further future internship and possible USA student/university affiliation opportunities. Although nothing was handed to us directly this week—we know we’ll be dealing with their new app they just launched about the coastline and translating it into English by next week and onward.

We took a couple days off to explore Southern Albania’s coastline in the little beach town of Himare—considered a Greek minority of Albania. It was my first time visiting the coast especially after 16 years away from Albania. You could see Corfu across the distance of the Ionian Sea, so it’s super close with Greece and people could be heard speaking in Greek and we even ran across Swedish tourists—really cool for us to see tourism on the ground instead of seeing it through the statistics. In addition, the coastline there was small and quaint—beautiful rocky hills right in front of the rocky, crystal clear, turquoise colored water. Needless to say we enjoyed it and being that it isn’t super developed but established enough with restaurants, cafes, and hotels galore it’s developed enough to accommodate the influx of tourists that will be hitting Himare up in the next two months (July and August are the key touristic months). So for anyone planning on going to Corfu—go to Himare, it’s the same exact seashore and even cheaper—plus the experience is more authentic and still not as capitalistic/touristic!

Laying out after a nice burn

Dinner right on the seaside :)

Hanging out on some rocks on the Ionian Sea

1 comment:

  1. Enxhi,

    You are really catching up on your posts! I enjoy reading all of them! Statistics makes me shiver, but I see what you mean about it making more sense when there is an identified purpose. I feel that way about physics.. it's like applied science/math. Was the data about the airports helpful? Will changes be made based on what was found? Translating the coastline app sounds like a good opportunity. Do tourists actually use these apps?

    Relaxing is good!! Keep enjoying your free time.