Discovering Tirana

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Hello, I’m Mirko.

The sixth of January I arrived in Tirana to start my first experience of European Voluntary Service (EVS) working with disabled children through the receiving organisation :”Beyond Barriers”. I’ll stay here in the capital for two months. The first impression about the people and the city was very good. After that I got off of airplane, at the exit of the airport,a friendly taxi driver was waiting for me and my colleagues. He spoke to us in a perfect Italian making us feel at home. One of the funniest things was that in the mean, he was listening some italian music like Ricchi e Poveri or Vasco Rossi. After we had loaded up our luggages, the taxi left and precisely in the traffic circle outside the airport I noted a traffic sign that showed the word: “Kosova”. Arriving in Tirana, we went through a long congested boulevard with palms on its sides. At the beginning, I was shocked about the numbers of car that sped on the left and on the right of the taxi where I was staying in. One of the beautiful things of Tirana that affected me was a traffic circle with the picture of the eagles of the Albanian flag with its respective colours. In my opinion, Tirana is a city similar to some Italian or Turkish cities. On the second and on the third days we stayed here, the local volunteers help us to discover all the beauties of the city. We’ ve seen the giant sculpture dedicated to Skanderbeg, the opera, the historical museum and some streets of the city where there are many shops like fruit and vegetables stands. We live in a hostel situated in rruga Don Bosko, a beautiful neighborhood near the centre of the city, with all the facilities you need. One of my first impressions about Albanian people was that they are temperamentally similar to Sardinian people, they are more friendly with stranger and always ready to help you. In these days, we’ ve started to work with disabled children at the Dove Center and at the Special School Luigi Gurakuqi. My first meeting with the children of the Dove Center was very exciting because from the beginning, I established a good relationship with children and gradually I think that this relationship could become better. My relationship with the children is based on continuous mutual communicative exchange that is allowing me to learn many things about Albanian language and Albanian way of life. For now, we have started to work with the children teaching them easy things like the alphabet and the numbers. These days have been very satisfying for me and for my colleagues. Despite many commitments, we had much time to discover many areas outside the city like the mountains and I wish this experience carry on and improve day-to-day.

Stay tuned.

Mirko

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