Albania

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“On the Merits of Eating Raw Goat Spleens” by Justin Parmenter (Albania)
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Review —ONLY BEES DIE by Robert Keller (Albania)

“On the Merits of Eating Raw Goat Spleens” by Justin Parmenter (Albania)

  On the Merits of Eating Raw Goat Spleens by Justin Parmenter (Albania 1995–97) • YESTERDAY I WALKED TO KUTAL, a nearby village, with my friend Ali. There we sat for a time with a friend of his, knocked back a few rakis and talked goats. Cute little animals, they are. So much cleaner than sheep and, though it may seem a strange word to describe them, so much more intellectual. I love animals, and it pains me to see the malicious way in which they are sometimes treated here. But for some reason, I thought of these goats as Albanians do. As a luxury. After all, May 1st only happens once a year.  That little black goat I carried back to Permet was Ali’s Dom Perignon, if you know what I mean. When we arrived back in Permet, we found an expert knife wielder who agreed to do the . . .

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Review —ONLY BEES DIE by Robert Keller (Albania)

Only Bees Die: Peace Corps Eastern Europe by Robert Keller (Albania 2008–09) CreateSpace $10.95 (paperback) 212 pages 2010 Reviewed by Ken Hill (Turkey 1965–67) Albania is an exotic and enchanting place, home to a Peace Corps program since 1992.  Robert Keller served there as a teacher and consultant from the Spring of 2008 to the Fall of 2009. Only Bees Die provides a lovely afternoon of reading about his experience. The author clearly relished Albania and his book provides a welcome glimpse of life there for the foreigner. Written as a diary and a sort of practical guide, emails sent while in service are scattered throughout, providing an interesting context for insights. The work provides numerous practical tips and suggestions, revealing anecdotes  and examples of do’s and don’ts that most PCV’s would agree on. Likely of limited interest outside a Peace Corps or similar context, it should prove useful for . . .

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