These are photos from a funeral I was very lucky to shoot. It's photos like these that photographers can really appreciate. This was unplanned and became my plan B when another photo opportunity in Krusha fell through.
This is a funeral for Fjolla Gashi, who died on Friday morning from a coma resulting in a car accident. She and three other girls were hit by a car while they were walking to school. Many accidents like this have occurred since there is no public transportation system for children to get to school. She hadn't even turned 14 yet, and she was so beautiful. I think the one aspect I had to appreciate about this moment was how willing the family was for me to be there. They allowed me into private spaces and even people who didn't know me, aided in moving people out of my way in order for me to have better access. Being a apart of this funeral procession was just amazing. I can't describe it in words so I'll let the photos describe the scene for you.
It was awesome to end my week on this kind of a note. I have to say I couldn't have accomplished what I did without everyone who was willing to help:
I have to especially thank Arben, our driver and translator from World Vision. He dedicated his work time to drive us to various places in order for us to have successful stories. I was able to be with him the most during the week, and he was just amazing. He was able to get us information he knew we needed and would try anything to accomplish it. I don't think I would have gotten the same results on Friday if it weren't for him. I owe him a lot.
I also have to thank the KIJAC students. It was awesome to be able to work with them and to learn about the culture through them. In a week, I feel like I've known them for months. I was able to bond with many of them and for those friendships I am forever grateful.
I owe a lot to the professors on this trip. If it wasn't for them pushing me, I wouldn't have pushed myself more and more. I felt like I had a lot to prove on this trip, and I feel like I've accomplished a lot. I admire their advice and wisdom they have given me while on this project and I'll never take it for granted. I'm glad they gave me a chance and I hope I didn't disappoint them.
Kosovo was wonderful. Even after being home a bit I can't fully describe to my parents what it was like. There will always be a place in my heart for everyone I met in a week and I hope to stay in touch. We still have a lot of work to do and I'm optimistic about the final product.