Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trying to grasp the essence of Kosovo

(By Max Jilderda)

What is Kosovo? A question I have heard many times the last week when trying to explain what I did during my intensive period in June. The inability to explain what I did for ten days to my family and friends was very frustrating. Not because they were unable to comprehend what I did, but because I was not able to tell what I had seen and experienced. The complexity of Kosovo was even too big for me to comprehend, let alone to explain to others.
This annoyed me.

This led to me going back to our trip in my mind, thinking of all the great, emotional, frustrating, boring, tiring and inspiring memories that together formed my impression of Kosovo. I realized that I would never be able to give an objective overview of Kosovo, nor did I want to. I just want to be able to explain what the trip to Kosovo meant to me and how it affected me. I thought that my project would help me with this by mapping the different truths present in all the organizations that we visited, but it only helped to some extent. I know have a clear way to explain the differences present in the visited organizations, something which is really important and also causes a lot of frustration, but Kosovo was more than that.
Already in class we asked ourselves ‘Why do we care and what changed this’, and the reoccurring answer was the relationship we’ve build individually, but also as a group, with the people we met in Kosovo. Being personally interested in the wellbeing of those people that have been present throughout our trip in Kosovo, and wanting positive change for the country because it would benefit them. Bardha, Enver and their families have made us feel at home in a country we had never visited before, but also the students in Kosovo that wanted to show us the good aspects of Kosovo, by taking us to fancy bars and cool clubs. Even people we did not knew through our visits came up to us and were very kind and open, with their sole motivation being to leave a positive impression behind so that we would take this back and spread the word about how nice Kosovo and its people actually are.
We have become the ambassador of Kosovo, because of these relationships. Because we care what happens to these people. Although we have also seen and experienced the problems present in Kosovo’s society, such as poverty, unemployment and corruption, we have also met a lot of people striving to change this and this offers hope. I am not sure whether I will be able to tell to people what Kosovo meant and means to me, but I don’t think it is something I will be able to put into words for a long time, but this is okay, because it has changed me as a person and my personal view and I am really grateful for this.

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