Hey friends,

I’m in Tirana in a great hostel !! OURAAA Tirana Backpacker Hotel !!

I’m volunteer here, in exchange of few hours at the reception, they offer me a bed and breakfast! It’s an amazing experience !

I arrived in Tirana on Monday 28th November, like many cities I have crossed, it is better not to breathe all the way! Tirana is a chaotic city, it reminds me of Phnom Penh or New Delhi. And of course the law of the biguest is usual on the road, even my bamboo bike does not make the difference! I have to find a bigger horn!

From the first night in my hostel I was in charge of reception from 10pm to 8am. I slept well the next day =). In reality there are not many people in the hotel and we are four volunteers, so the work is not intense. I spend a lot of time talking with Albanians, Americans, Germans, Turks, Australians … In English of course! I’m kind of laughing at my accent so we laughing a lot! I am also happy to cook good food, which we enjoy with volunteers and travelers! I spent great evenings, talking about extraordinary situations in the four corners of the earth =)

Thank you Valbona! She is the “Mama” of the hostel, she is full of energy and smiling! She is a purveyor of dreams! (How do you pronounce « Rêves » Valbona!?)

I’m super active!

My life at the hostel didn’t fill my days so as planned I contacted two innovative projects in Tirana.

Zero waste Albania – Thank you Ervin!

This project was launched five years ago by Ervin, his dream is to eliminate waste in Albania. But the most beautiful thing is that he concretizes his dream !! Despite an Albanian environment that is not conducive to green projects. I have spent an evening talking with zero waste albania team, I plan to see them again to learn more about their work, their projects and their issues. Meanwhile here’s how Ervin presents his project (below).

Five years ago a group of friends decided to take a stand and put a STOP to deteriorate the environment throughout Albania. WE organized the biggest volunteer clean up action ever seen in the country, to clean Albania in one day. On November 22nd, 2013 we succeeded engaging more than 147,000 volunteers and collected more than 15,000 tons of waste, in just one day getting involved with the communities in every city, universities, schools, the media, the local and central government.

Since then we have organized 5 additional national clean up actions, involving more than 700,000 volunteers all together and collected more than 50,000 tons of urban waste.

We can not do it alone, we need more Green Leaders that have the same passion, vision and the commitment to build a legacy for a Green Albania.

Think Green, Act Green, Live Green

Pana storytelling furniture – Thank you Pezana and Egli!

I met them two weeks ago and as I love to work materials, I am in heaven !! What a great job they do !!

You know the pallets which are often for single use … They recuperate them, disassemble them, and remove the nails; that is their raw material! It is called the Up cycling, the principle is to use a used product to offer it a second life!

Pana has a manufacturing workshop, carpentry machines and a team of seven Albanians who are purveyor of dreams!!

At the headquarters of the company, they draw furniture in response to customer need, mainly for shops and bars. The production is then launched and Pana even takes care of the installation at the customer place!

I have been working with them since last Monday and I spent my first week observing how the workshop is going. There are a lot to guarantee the safety of the employees, to optimize the flow of materials and to structure the teamwork. Engineer one day, engineer always … I gave to the director a PowerPoint presenting my observations and suggestions for improvements. We will talk about it next Monday, but there’s a good chance that I will go into project mode until the end of January !! Too happy =)

I love my life in Tirana, I found great friends, what to fill my days and I use my bike every day! I’m happy !