I’m just a few hundred miles south of where I was last night but it feels like a different world. In many ways, it is. I’m in Pristina, Kosovo. For those of you who don’t know, it’s the last place in the world where they actually like Americans.
I just got back from dinner with a journalist that has lived here since he was born, through the war and is now a citizen in the independent Republic of Kosovo. He feared for his life on a daily basis during the war but kept fighting the fight. I asked him why, how? “In hopes that my children would never have to if I did,” he answered.
That was enough for me. Something clicked and that was all I needed.
Somewhere along the way, the job I do hasn’t changed but the reason why I keep on doing it did. It just took a guy from Kosovo, a fellow dad, to make that clear.
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I spent a couple months in Mitrovica (with visits to Pristina) in the winter of 2005/2006. I feel a connection to the people, and thus the place, that I’ve never felt on any other travels. It does have something to do with their inherent optimism and stubborn will and amazing hospitality, but I think there’s also an optimist in me who connects with them and hopes they can move beyond all the conflict and nationalism.
Great to discover your blog!