I have officially been in Pristina for one month now!
The past few weeks have been incredible, but (regrettably) I have been terrible at updating my blog. In the next few posts, I will summarize some of the most important aspects of my past month in Kosovo. This first post will focus on the people I have met in Pristina.
Staff of Democracy for Development:
I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with this group of talented individuals. I believe one of the most important parts of being an intern is learning about what kind of environment you thrive in. Although I will discuss my internship in more detail in the next post, I realized that I enjoy working in a collaborative, collegial environment. The office is incredibly young, but everyone has unique experiences and skills they bring to the table.
When I told one of my friends from William & Mary that I was interning in Kosovo this summer, he immediately recommended that I message his friend in the Peace Corps. I did, we met up one weekend, and we became friends immediately. She introduced me to the rest of her group, and meeting them has already changed my experience here in the most positive way. They have the biggest hearts and are so incredibly welcoming.
For future interns, I highly suggest trying to make connections with other Americans in Kosovo. They can give you tips for places to eat and explore, suggest cultural events that will broaden your understanding of the community, and give you insight into what life in a post-conflict country is really like.
Ajinur and I were lucky enough to have last year's Kosovo interns, Abby and Erica, introduce us to several of their friends who work for various international organizations in Pristina. One friend, Joe, took us to brunch and a tour of Gracanica--a town with a Serbian majority. Not only did we get to view a beautiful monastery and several ruins, but we also got a glimpse of the rift that still exists between Serbs and Albanians.
Once again, I would suggest that future interns branch out and meet as many people as possible. The lessons you learn from people in the international community are invaluable. Although our internship program only lasts ten weeks, getting a broader view of Kosovo's reality will make your experience much richer.