First Impressions of Albania

After a long plane ride, I arrive in Albania! The first two days in Tirana are a whirlwind of sights, sounds, and emotions. From orientation sessions to our first language classes, we are kept very busy! In a nutshell: I love the food, the language is really difficult, and I’m at information-overload!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 7:45pm

Whew. The worst is over (for now)! After two plane rides and lots of napping, I’m finally in Albania! It still feels like a dream – like I’m not really here at all.

Our Peace Corps crew got going in the late morning. We piled onto the buses, said goodbye to our facilitators, and then headed for the airport. Check in was organized chaos, and despite all of the confusion no one got left behind in Miami.

I mostly slept for the entire nine-hour flight, and when we arrived in Frankfurt we had a really difficult time trying to find the right gate. We got turned around and retraced our steps – all while maintaining a very brisk “Amazing Race” pace. It was kind of intense.

The final plane ride was only two hours. When we landed in Albania we went through immigration, and then there was another flurry of organized chaos as we all tried to find our checked bags and board the bus for Tirana. Our staging manager greeted each of us at the airport by name (first and last!), and he could recognize us all by our faces!

Getting off the plane, I think everyone was in a state of extreme exhaustion – though adrenaline kept some people awake and energized. As I looked out the airport windows at the beautiful, scenic mountains I felt a burst of excitement – but that pretty quickly faded as I boarded the bus and exhaustion took over again. Continue reading “First Impressions of Albania”