Friday, June 15, 2018

2018: A new adventure

By Dr. Anne de Graaf

We're off again. Peace Lab 2018 started meeting the first week of June, when 19 students presented to each other on Balkan history, learned the nuances of numbers packed with meaning like 1389 (year of battle) and 1244 (UN resolution), then took a test on Monday and on Tuesday 12 June we flew to Vienna for an 11-hour layover, then onto Prishtina.

The 10-year-old Young European state of Kosovo shows signs of change every year, but the group of students I bring here every year, is different. What stays the same is the support of Enver and Bardha, our faithful local interpreters and coordinators who help place our students with Albanian families, where they are showered with generosity and gracious hospitality. I am grateful to my husband Erik, who also comes on each of these trips (this is the fifth year!). And for the second year in a row, Chiara is coordinating the trip. Thanks to her hard work, we have an exciting program of visits to organizations varying from the UN to several grassroots NGOs. We study peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and peacemaking in this qualitative research methods fieldwork class. Those are fancy academic terms for saying we learn how to listen, trying to understand many perspectives at once. As we do so, the students work on a wide variety of projects.

For the rest of the month of June, students will be posting blogposts about our trip and its impact on their own learning. Please join us on the journey and follow the blog. Thank you for your interest!

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