A posting for June 12

I’ve been reminded that I haven’t posted anything lately. I suppose that because I’m so close to my own life – as most people are – I don’t think to tell people about it, especially since I’m not a committed blogger. Plus we’ve settled into Albania so well that it doesn’t seem new any longer, except for the daily outrages of watching someone drive into oncoming traffic so he can cut you off and run a red light, which never gets old. Still, it’s not like I’m doing nothing all day.

Lately, I’ve been volunteering for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for a while now, shooting public events. So far I’ve done the kick-off of the audit season for public officials, a munitions disassembly site, an olive oil festival (as shown to the right), the signing of the first private loan made to a municipality, and the opening of a new licensing center; tomorrow, I’m shooting a community day in Fier, about two hours away; and at the end of the month, I’m shooting the national elections, which should be a very busy day.* I’ve also started doing work for GTZ, the German equivalent of USAID, but I’ve only had one project with them so far. And when I’m not doing all of this, I’m taking a distance-learning photography course and working on my own projects – for example, scanning and editing negatives featuring abandoned factories around Albania, which is a recurring fascination of mine. Last month, Abby and I went to Krakow, and I’ll get around to editing those photos eventually as well, hopefully before we go to Budapest next month with my brother Sam and his wife Lynn, who are coming to visit, where I expect to take even more photographs, thus ensuring that I’m buried in pixels for the foreseeable future.

Finally, Abby is well, Cooper remains adorable and is becoming slightly less prone to disobey us when we tell him to stop eating poo in the park, but only slightly.

*Electioneering here seems to consist of making impossible, lofty promises to cheering throngs, waving the American flag (strength by association, the 2004 election not withstanding) and heckling the opposition parties. Really edifying stuff.