From Peace Corps Wiki
The name "Peshkopi" (definite form Peshkopia) derives from the Greek episkopia, which refers to the seat of an Christian bishop. The word peshkop "bishop" still exists in the modern Albanian language. One folk etymology for the name is pesë shtëpi "five houses", in reference to the tiny size of the town in times past.
Presence of NGOs
- Opportunity Albania (formerly PShM), a microcredit business, has an office on the main boulevard.
- Qendra e Edukimit dhe e Komunikimit (The Center for Education and Communication or QEK) is located on the boulevard. It's a large building and hard to miss. It houses the only internet cafe in town, 150 lekë/hour. It was built with Danish aid, but the staff are all Albanian. None of them speak English.
- SNV, a Dutch-funded development organization, has an office between the elementary school complex and Hotel Veri. It may soon move to an second-story office next door to the Prefecture. The Peshkopi office's activities are focused mainly on small business development in the region of Dibër. With the exception of the office director, a native of Vancouver, staff are all Albanian. All are fluent in English.
- World Vision is scheduled to open an office in Peshkopi soon, possibly in the space currently occupied by SNV. Rumor has it that there will be three Albanian staff members and a French director. It's likely that all staff will speak English fluently, as this was a qualification listed in the advertisement for job interviews.
- The Albanian Red Cross (Kryqi i Kuq Shqiptar) has a building up the hill behind the QEK. One of its current projects involves child nutrition and survival in local villages.
Schools in Peshkopi include the following:
- Nazmi Rushiti - foreign languages and pedagogical high school. Commonly referred to as the pedagogjike. Gafur Markeçi is the director, and the vice-directors (zëvendësdrejtorët) are Hairi Hasa and Nebi Xhembulla.
- Seit Najdeni - general high school (gjimnaz).
Both high schools observe the following schedule:
- 1st period - 8:30am-9:15
- 2nd period - 9:20-10:05
- 3rd period - 10:10-10:55
- Long break (pushimi i gjatë) - 10:55-11:20
- 4th period - 11:20-12:05pm
- 5th period - 12:10-12:55
- 6th period - 1:00-1:45
- Demir Gashi - elementary and junior high school (shkollë nëntë-vjeçare).
- Selim Alliu - elementary and junior high school, physically connected to Demir Gashi but administratively separated.
Directors of schools in Peshkopi report directly to the Regional Directorate of Education (Drejtoria Arsimore Rajonale) of the region (qark) of Dibër, whose offices are in the same building as the city government (bashkia) of Peshkopi and the regional government (prefektura). The Director of Education (Drejtor Arsimor) is Premtim Kryemadhi.
- Buses for Tirana and Durrës leave from a spot on the boulevard next to the Turizëm hotel. The Durrës bus is much smaller than the Tirana one. It's best to get on the bus by 7am in order to be sure to get a seat. As of early 2008, the bus fare to Tirana is 500 lekë.
- Furgons for Tirana are regularly lined up in the treg (market) neighborhood on the section of street that slopes downhill from the new mosque (xhamia e re) with two minarets. The furgon fare to Tirana is 800 lekë.
- Furgons for Kukës are sometimes available from the dirt yard in front of the pedagogjike (Nazmi Rushiti).
There are two hotels in Peshkopi: Hotel Veri and the Turizëm hotel. Turizëm is located towards the west end of the boulevard. Volunteers who have stayed there have reported that it is not kept very clean. Peace Corps staff stay at Veri when they come to town. Veri is located close to the elementary schools, next door to SNV's current (and soon to be former) office.
Peshkopi tends to have cold winters and relatively mild summers. Longtime residents claim that there used to be several feet of snowfall every winter. The winter of 2007-2008 saw significant snowfall, but not enough to impede transportation.