Vlore ~ our lifeline
Vlore Travel Blog› entry 7 of 11 › view all entries
Like i said before, we got asked to work at a christian/english camp this summer. At first we non chalantly agreed, but later on, after a month and a half in Elbasan with no one to talk to or little to do this was like being thrown a lifeline to two drowning men.
The biggest thing for us was interaction. We got to interact with people, some english speaking at that which we enjoyed, but for us the biggest kick we got was practicing our shqip with the Albanian kids here, something that suprised them. It was both shocking and disappointing to see those Americans that had been here almost a year knew less shqip than we did in only a month and a half. That is not to brag on us, but to look at them and wonder, "what were you doing here?" The answer we found was being an american in albania and refusing to give up certain creature comforts.
The kids though were awesome. I led one of the groups, we were the green team and i managed to offend about 90 percent of the camp by naming our team the "Stupid girls" (vajze dabile) and then the Stupid Girls (vajze dembil) and then just the bad girls (vajze keq.) i though the last one was a really good name 'cause we had a chant, to the bad boys song i just changed up the lyrics. we had a rap and dance all worked out but then some of the locals and missionaires got offended. i was a bit pissed when i found it, it was only the miss' that got offended and most of the albanians thought it was funny. culture integration- i'm still learning, even among my own.
Vlora was a breath of fresh air. Where Elbasan is squelquing hot, humid and lays in a valley so it feels totally shut off to the world, even its own country, Vlore is wide, open, perched on the Adriatic, warm and inviting.
The water is very cool, nice, but chilly of course the further out you get and there is some sport usually played on the beach. We set up volleyball nets, organized football and american football games, or just kicked and threw the balls around with each other. Alot of english and italian speakers here. Alot of Albanians returning home for vacation. Over 1.5 million albanians live overseas and the numbers might be higher than that. So alot of Albanians returning home from England and Italy, even america to visit their family and soak up some Albanian rays. I hear though that the majority of vacationing Albanians will take their breaks and fill up their country in August, not July.
Either way if your in Albania or wandering a good place to hit up, try Vlore, it is a great launching pad to hit up the south where beautiful Saranda waits or to head east and hit Tirana on your way to one of the other countries.
By the way the camps went off in an excellent way. Another thing to note is Vlore's nightlife kills the rest of the country. Only Saranda and Tirana can boast anything close to a nightlife and Vlore definetly stakes its claim, though when it comes to discos and getting out there after dark, Albania is very much behind the times.