Friday, October 24, 2008

First online registration to include Kosovo as a country

For years I've been frustrated with various online registrations wanting to know where I live.  Kosovo hasn't appeared on any of them.  I've had to either say "Yugoslavia," which hasn't existed for sixteen years, "Serbia-Montenegro," which hasn't existed for two years or "Serbia," which isn't technically correct (depending on your politics).

Today while updating my online registration with the US State Department I found, for the first time, "Kosovo" listed as a separate country.  It was a strange feeling, after seeing its absence from probably hundreds of various online registrations over the last six years.

Now, if only the US Postal Service would catch up, I'd probably get reliable mail!  I guess I'll have to be content with one step at a time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Some point to a return to Catholicism

There is an interesting article at Reuters today about Kosovars' return to Catholicism.   

Friday, August 15, 2008

US Dollar hits 6 month high

This is a strange entry with which to resume blogging.  But, I was excited by the news today that the dollar hit a six-month-high at $1.4679 against the euro today.  Our local bank's rate wasn't quite so good, but a lot better than one month ago.


One month ago the USD rate was 1.58!  This is very good news!  Analysts are predicting that the dollar will strengthen throughout the year.

The exchange rate has a direct effect the resources that we're able to bring to ministry.

via Bloomberg

Monday, June 02, 2008

Coca-Cola to be Produced in Kosovo

Okay, I haven't posted anything in ages.  Life is good, my neck-of-the-woods is largely safe and secure AND Coca-Cola is going to bottled in my town.  Check this out:

02 June 2008 Pristina _ World-famous beverage Coca-Cola will be again produced in Kosovo, a local company who is expected to buy the license claims.

Fluidi, a local Kosovo company says it will obtain the license to produce Coca-Cola locally.
“We are in the final stages of reaching a deal on technical issues with the Coca-Cola management,” Faton Sylejmani, the marketing manager at Fluidi told Balkan Insight.
Sylejmani explained that the production of the drink in Kosovo is expected to begin within weeks and the factory, which is located in the eastern town of Gjilan/Gnjilane, will initially have the capacity to produce around 10,000 litres per hour.
Before the conflict in the late 1990s in Kosovo, Coca-Cola was produced in the town of Lypjan/Ljiplane at a lower capacity by a joint share company in the former Yugoslavia.
Until now, the beverage was imported from other neighbouring countries, mainly Macedonia.

from Balkan Insight

Friday, April 25, 2008

Record setting skyscraper to go up in Prishtina

A four hundred million euro skyscraper is being built in the capital of Kosovo, Prishtina.  Hmm

The complex is located on Bill Clinton Boulevard close to the center of Prishtina on an area of 26,000 m2. With a floor space of 285,000 m2, the complex consists of 100 luxury apartments, a 165 m 42-story-high high-end office tower, the highest in the Balkans, a shopping center, a hotel and six level subterranean garages.

Err...don't get me wrong.  I'm all for skyscrapers and everything, but what kind of generator do you need for a 42 story building when there's not enough electricity as it is?

via New Kosova Report

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Funny travel pictures

I was in the Istambul airport not long ago and found this helpful instruction in the a bathroom stall...


Hmmm.  Sometimes when you work in foreign countries things are lost in translation.  Other times I just scratch my head.  This was one of those times.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

US Opens Embassy in Prishtina

Multiple media outlets are reporting that the United States officially opened it's embassy in Prishtina today, upgrading its "US Office".

It'll be handy to have an actual embassy close by.  The nearest one is in Skopje, Macedonia, about an hour and a half and a border away.  Of course, the only time I've needed one was to get more pages put in my passport.  I pray those are the only circumstances in which I'll "need" a US Embassy. :)  At the same time, I wonder how many millions of dollars it's going to cost to build this embassy.  The new one in Skopje is an absolute monster.  Your tax dollars at work.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Computer Courses

SVAC-7Apr08-06This week we're so happy to have a group from the Silicon Valley Alliance Church in the US. They're teaching computer classes to local educators at our community Center.  I think we have 30-40 who attended classes today.


There were a couple of not so minor miracles 1) the set up of all the computers was a snap 2) the electricity stayed on ALL DAY.  Unbelievable.

Tonight, after class, the coffee shop was full of people hanging out after class, drinking coffee and socializing.  Someone told me that no one really believed we had "experts" coming to teach the classes.  They assumed we were lying and that it was a trick to get people to come.   But this team comes from the Silicon Valley area and really ARE experts in the field.  We're so grateful for their work!

Friday, January 25, 2008

James Blunt music video recalls the tragedy

I don't know how I missed this music video, but it is absolutely worth three and a half minutes. As the push for independence crawls on, as various US, EU, Serbian and Russian diplomats take the world stage with their proxies in tow, it is all to easy to forget what really happened here.

Award-winning, and Grammy Nominee James Blunt  wrote the song, "No Bravery" while an officer in the British Army serving in Kosovo.  As a captain Blunt was the first British officer to enter the capital, Prishtina, in 1999.

This music video relates some of his experience.

via FreeKosova