Saturday, February 19, 2011

Balkan trip day 14: A special day with friends

Today it was a special day for many, because three years ago, Kosovo declared itself independent with a 'declaration for independence'. Therefore the city was full with different flags: even with American and German flags and also concerts were organized in the cities.

This morning I had together with Jetmir an appointment with a representative of the UNDP in Mitrovica to discuss about a project that we want to develop in Kosovo. The representative of the UNDP was interested in our project and gave a good feedback and ideas concerning the project proposal and was willing to be involved and to help to put this project on it's feet. Jetmir gave good and professional information. For him it was also a good experience on how you discuss and negotiate with representatives of international institutions.

When the meeting was finished we were picked up again and I found out that Auke and Annechien also spend their time well with a friend of Ruzhdi (who drove us around) who got a fine because they went into a one-way street, drank a coffee and came to pick us up.

After this we were brought to Prekaz, a small village where one of the Albanian leaders and his family was killed which the Albanians now saw as the beginning of the war. The heavenly damaged house is preserved and a memorial now. It shows the madness of wars which only brings destruction, sufferings and losses.

After this we went back to Mitrovica where we met our friends from the ROM again and went for a drink in the center of the town. We had a good time together of fellowship and friendship. We discussed also many serious things. We made a group picture in the center. It became quite busy for there was a concert in the city. EU Police and army guaranteed the safety of the people. On the bridge that divided the city I met a soldier from Romania, from Timisoara! He is serving there until June and did not expect problems for today.

In the evening our friends brought us to a special place for our dinner where we could see the whole city. I learned a lot from our friends and it was good to be with them.

When we finished, we went back to Vustri. We went to drink an Amaretto in the favorite place with the father and brother of Ruzhdi and with Jetmir. After a good time we unfortunately had to say goodbye to our friends.

Although we did not have many official meetings, it was good to meet our friends and to have a good time together, to discuss more in detail about the projects we like to develop and to learn more about Kosovo and the cities of Pristina and Mitrovica.

We left the early evening for our next destination of our Balkan trip: Macedonia!

Jetmir traveled with us and we brought him to Gostivar where he lives. Then we went to our hotel. Where we arrived at 00:30 hrs, late but satisfied and thankful for the great and effective time we had in Kosovo.

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