Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"Albania!"

There's no time like the present to try something new, so here it goes - dipping my toes into (or maybe diving head-first into...) the blogisphere!

Actually, I'm setting this up to see if it's a viable way for me to let my friends and family keep up with my life.

Rather than bombarding them with e-mails that they may - or may not - want to read, they can check in whenever they happen to be thinking "I wonder what Steven is up to?"

So - what am I up to besides setting up a Blog?

Well, the big news in my life right now is my impending trip to Albania.

Albania?

Yes, "Albania!" he said.

"Why Albania?" the curious amongst you may ask - or "Where's Albania?" for the more geographically challenged...

Well, first, 'Albania' because I've been offered an opportunity to participate as a volunteer elections observer for the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and Albania is one of the former communist countries that has requested outside observers to help give their emerging democratic process some credibility.

Second, Albania is in Southeastern Europe between Greece, Macedonia and the former Yugoslavia.

Find a globe or map of the world - an admittedly difficult task for most people these days...

Find Italy - it gets easier, I promise...

Find the bottom of Italy - the part that looks like the heel of a boot...

Now look to the right - across the Strait of Otranto, which separates the Adriatic and Ionian Seas - and you'll find Albania!

You'll also be fully qualified to work for the U.S. State Department - and a far better nominee for U.N. Ambassador than John Bolton...

Alright - no politics for now - back to basics.

That spot you just found on the map is where I'm heading at the end of June, for about ten days of training and elections monitoring, leading up to their parliamentary elections on July 3rd.

Yes, I know - July 3rd is a Sunday. How can they have an election on a Sunday?

Easy. As messed up as they might be, they didn't have Founding Fathers who were so high on snuff that they decided elections should take place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November...

More - much more - to come...

SPB

1 comment:

Marc Breaux said...

Some information about Albania, in case anybody wants to look up a place that actually wants democracy...

Albania Info

Courtesy of the Wikipedia, which by the way is one of the most informative sites on the web right now. I've been using it instead of Google for searches half the time, and find myself spending a ridiculous amount of time surfing this site alone.

In other news, Mr. Bush was asked by a reporter about an update on the timeline to remove troops from Iraq, to which Bush mumbled something about needed to capture General Grievous first...