Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sorry For the Delay

For those of you who were waiting for an update, here I am. I haven't forgotten about posting. Originally I was going to post as I was able to get my photos up but I'm super behind on photo work so it's just words.

The past few days have been amazing. I have seen a variety of things that leave me awestruck. Yesterday I went with two journalism students here. Afrodita and Arianita were two very beautiful women who took Shannon and I to the Red Cross to find contacts. After some conflicts with timing, we were able to meet with someone who would help take us to various families. We set appointments and in the afternoon I went to the community of Fushe Kosove, which is a suburb of Prishtina, and is comprised of minority groups including Askahli. This community was my first exposure to poverty. Not only were the houses depressing but it was hard for me to see a family living a hard life but still happy about the opportunities they have been given. I was disappointed in what had as far as photos because I froze up. It was hard for me to hear their stories even though I kept telling myself that I'm here to tell their story. They were so grateful I was there and tomorrow I'm going back with hopes of developing my story more and maybe see a calf be born. This is significant because the first family I visited are anxiously awaiting the birth of a calf so their cow will produce milk again and they can have a little more food for their family.

Today I went to the town of Vushtri to visit a family that lost their home during the war and now live in the Cicavica mountains where they originally fled. They have 14 family members living in their home and barely make ends meet, barely. The second story was one I have been pushing for all semester. I was able to interview a war widow who was left alone with 5 kids when her husband died during the war. At the time there was no support from the community she could turn to. She provides for her family by knitting items to sell at the market which only funds her two children, still at home, on 63 Euros a month. Her story was really heart breaking. There were a few moments when I felt I was about to break down, even our guide was touched. Even after 10 years she remembers everything about her husband and has little tangible items because their house was burnt down during the war.

The World Vision guide, Arben, has been the most help with the majority of my stories. Not only have I shared an interest in stories with him but he has been amazing about transporting us, helping to translate and helping us to take off and produce photos that make an impact. We've also been able to enjoy is taste in American music including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and lots of Jazz. We want to do all we can to show our gratitude so Clay and I are going to make a variety of music CDs for Arben to enjoy, I think I'll share my love of Miles Davis.

We're all ready to find a story to nail down and dig deep. There are so many opportunities to see and write about that makes a week not long enough. I hope we can make a difference with our stories now that the world is paying attention to Kosovo.

I promise photos will come. I've been itching to post them I've just run into a few technological difficulties.


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