Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How is it being back in Amsterdam after such a breathtaking trip?

(By Roxy Frey)

The first couple of days, I was still in denial about being back in Amsterdam. I felt sad about having left Kosovo and my new made friends, especially Bardha. It felt strange not waking up next to Zoe and Henriette every morning and I missed even the crowded mornings in the bathroom where three of us used to brush their teeth while one was on the toilet, one in the shower, and the others doing their make-up. I cannot wait to go back to visit the places and the people I grew so fond of.

It feels awkward still now because it is hard to put in words what we have experienced. Nobody here seems to really understand how I feel about Kosovo. When I am asked how the trip was I say “It was an experience”. It seems as though everyone expects me to say “it was amazing” or “so fun”. And while this is certainly true, there is so much more to the story. We had fun going out, meeting people, feeling the vibe of Pristina (you can read more about this in other blog posts) but we have also heard sad stories about the failed visa liberalization, the economic hardship and tensions between different groups inside and outside Kosovo (you can read more about this in other blog posts as well).

While I am sad and I feel awkward being back in Amsterdam, I am also extremely excited. In about 1 hour, our graduation ceremony will begin and Amsterdam University College class of 2015 will receive its diplomas. Among us students who went to Kosovo, more than half were in their third year which means we will walk across the stage in no time.
What happens after? I am not sure.
Hopefully, many of us will return to Kosovo, to visit, to travel, and maybe to do an internship.
As a very last word from my side on this blog, I sincerely hope all of you who have been following our updates will go and travel to Kosovo yourselves. It is so worth it. And perhaps you will understand us even a little bit better because own experiences are much stronger than our words could ever be.

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