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Gold D of E - Albania

(17 Posts)
dofeconcern Sat 08-Oct-16 10:08:08

Not sure what to think . . not my first choice of country for girls only Expedition? I know it's meant to be a "challenge" and FCO website isn't overly worrying but just feels much less "safe" than Iceland, Norway and the other usual suspects. Can anyone offer a more informed opinion than the one I am automatically forming in my mind? Thanks

Leeds2 Sat 08-Oct-16 11:26:39

Of no help but I have known many girls do DofE Gold, and none of them have ever left this country for their expeditions. Surely flights on top of the usual expedition costs make it extremely expensive?

senua Sat 08-Oct-16 12:49:34

Same as Leeds2. I thought the 'usual suspects' were Peak District / Dales / Lakes / Brecon / Dartmoor!

titchy Sat 08-Oct-16 14:14:16

I thought Becons, Dartmoor too confused Expedition is supposed to be in wild country, not A wild country...!

Do you mean the residential? That can be anywhere, not sure I'd fancy Albania tbh - there are far more interesting places to see.

Mummamayhem Sat 08-Oct-16 14:17:07

Albania is beautiful! Amazing mountains but also good beaches. Welcoming people with a really interesting history.

admission Sat 08-Oct-16 16:45:12

Sounds very like a situation where the school staff are setting it up for their convenience as opposed to just going to the right, but probably less interesting part of the UK to do the expedition.

Hulababy Sat 08-Oct-16 16:47:35

I am sure DD's school does Gold over in the peak district.
DD does her final qualifying expedition for Bronze next weekend - again, in the peaks.

dofeconcern Sat 08-Oct-16 20:35:01

No, not the residential titchy - DD is already looking at options for that. It's def the expedition but the total lack of emergency healthcare should one of them bust a leg (e.g. no A&E outside the capital), plus my underlying fears about a less "Western" attitude ref the rights of women etc are all making me a bit hmm
Thanks for the responses!

nicp123 Sat 08-Oct-16 23:13:34

Although Albania was known in the Balkans as having higher crime rate in the rural areas, I know somebody who worked for a charity there some years ago & telling us that there were pickpockets everywhere in the centre of towns and the Charity workers used to go out only in groups and never stayed late for drinks. Other than that, from the photos shown to me at the time I can tell you that the mountains and the beeches were stunning & I was told that everything was extremely cheap and affordable. Since then things might be better now.
I think that organisers of trips now must or need to make safety assessments before committing to traveling anywhere this days; therefore, I'm guessing it must be safer now?

MrsPear Sat 08-Oct-16 23:29:12

Hi having been there many times over the last nine years I am happy to answer questions. Where about is your daughter going?
Re medical care there are hospitals outside the capital.
Attitudes towards women. It is a traditional society but there is no heckling on the streets in my experience. I have never felt unsafe going about in the day on my own shopping etc.
The only problem I can see is the cost of getting there - flight prices are madness!

hellsbells99 Sun 09-Oct-16 09:29:10

My DDs did theirs in Snowdonia. As previous posters have said most schools do the expedition in the UK.

venusinscorpio Sun 09-Oct-16 09:43:23

I've travelled as a single woman twice in Albania staying in local hotels and using public transport. It is a beautiful and welcoming country as pp said and I never personally felt unsafe there.

Stillunexpected Sun 09-Oct-16 10:55:43

I would be asking school why on earth it is necessary to get on a plane at all to do DofE?! Ridiculous. Who is that supposed to be benefiting?

yomellamoHelly Sun 09-Oct-16 11:06:43

(Many years ago) I did mine in the UK. Am amazed they're travelling that far.

dofeconcern Sun 09-Oct-16 16:17:39

In my ignorance, I'd assumed all Golds had to be abroad! Clearly not blush. Not sure why DD's school does but the expedition is overseas every year. The Air Cadets also do theirs abroad around here too.

What made me very uncomfortable was this report from 2015: www.osac.gov/pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=17616

In particular the paragraph about medical care: Healthcare is a serious problem; medical care beyond first aid is limited, and emergency medical service (EMS) is virtually non-existent. There are no trauma hospitals located outside of Tirana.

If one of the girls falls and busts a leg, I'm concerned the response won't be anything like as comprehensive as it would be in the UK/Norway etc.

I'll be honest and admit that I'm also nervous about groups of girls alone in the Albanian mountains!

Thanks to all for the responses.

hellsbells99 Sun 09-Oct-16 17:49:40

Hi Op. The D of E website shows where expeditions can be held in the UK www.dofe.info/en/content/cms/leaders/expedition-areas/
I am glad both from a safety and cost point of view that my DDs didn't go out of the UK for it.

Bobochic Sun 09-Oct-16 20:50:55

Sounds a bit OTT. What is the purpose of overdelivering on thé DofE?

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