A shepherd near the village of Bilisht, Albania. There are an estimated 1000 Albanians from Bilisht that now live in greater Waterbury, most coming to seek economic opportunity in America.
Story and Photographs By John Murray
I rounded a corner in Fier, Albania, and encountered ten police officers standing on the side of the road gesturing towards me. Crap, I thought, here comes the shakedown. I pulled my rental car over and fumbled for my passport and rental agreement. I wondered how I’d manage with the few words of Albanian I knew; mirëdita, (good afternoon), faleminderit (thank you), jo (no) and po (yes).
It was too late to learn, “Hi officer, Albania is a beautiful country and I look forward to writing about my experience with Prime Minister Edi Rama in my newspaper back in America.”
As I watched three uniformed police officers surround my car I wondered how much this was going to cost me.