Albania is not known for it’s curb appeal. A lot of the cities you visit are dirty and there is garbage everywhere you look. And cows. And pigs. And possibly goats, unless they’re already on the butcher block at the meat locker. Most people don’t give a second thought to littering in whatever spot is most convenient to them. I may be biased, but Permet seems to be ahead of it’s time in that sense. People here appear to care about how the city looks and I see workers cleaning up the streets each week. There are trash cans placed throughout a large chunk of the city. Which is a huge step up from most places. I remember being surprised at how difficult it was to find a trash can in PST. A convenience that I took advantage of in America. If you do find a trash can, chances are it is overflowing and the city doesn’t have the infrastructure to keep up with it. Permet does have parts of town that are severely neglected and look the part. Other parts however, are beautiful. But like I said, I may be a tad biased!
My sitemate, Liila, is a community development volunteer. She has been working on a grant that will help clean up one of the parks in Permet. The money she was awarded will be used for new benches and trash cans to be placed throughout the park. Before these new items arrived, the park needed a little TLC. Liila partnered with the school director and her coworker to gather a group of kids to help with trash clean up. Which we had on a Saturday morning. At eight o’ clock in the morning. Did I mention that it was on a Saturday?! We were both apprehensive whether or not the kids would actually show up. Turns out, we had nothing to worry about. The event was a huge success!
At the end of the morning we thanked the kids and handed out a few bags of chips. They left and we sat down to have a coffee, how else would you end a trash clean up in Albania?! Afterwards, as we were walking back to the city center, we noticed trash on the ground. From the the bags of chips that we had just handed out. To the very kids that helped pick up garbage for that entire morning. Oh Albania. You win some, you lose some. At least we are making baby steps in the right direction!