When Albania is called Shqipëria

28/01/2015, Tirana, Albania, Lucia writes:

In my name


Let’s start from the name. My name.

Every new encounter and relationship begins by exchanging names :

“Nice to meet you, I’m Lulù”.

Even during the religious ceremony of the baptism, the new born is introduced to the community through his name.

In Albania we celebrated my baptism. My new name is Lule, which in Albanian means Flower. This is, for me, the most important sign of my introduction in this community, which was foreign to me before.

And new identities, new aspects of my personality, were born here, in the streets of Tirana, during these ten months at BAZH NGO. My work was not confined inside the office’s walls. It pushed me out, into the streets and the countryside, where I learnt about the students’ movement, the bio-producers, the population fighting  for environmental protection against neoliberal practices of exploitation; I learnt to create and to strengthen networks and relationships: this was the main aim of my work. And so, today, with only a few days left before my departure, I feel that Albania is a country that belongs to me!

When trying to draw a conclusion from this experience, I can say that Renata was an important teacher, on a personal and professional level. With her help, I elaborated a project proposal, followed many works-in- progress, recorded what happened in the city and in the whole country and conducted a continuous fundraising activity; and moreover, I learnt to imagine new projects, balancing fantasy and reality. My days went by like this…

And now that I’ve started to pack my bags the owners of my beautiful home in the suburbs of Tirana try to spend every free moment with me. To them I have become a daughter, a friend, a sister

My friends. Renata. We will never have enough time to say our goodbyes. Ten months of life changing experiences can’t be told in one single page; they escape, overflowing its edges and mix, as if part of a collective game.

And I, usually not at loss for words, for once find myself with not much to day. If not “thank you”.

Thanks to those who gave me the chance to live this experience and those who went out into the streets with me.

Your names, like mine for You, here at the end of my diary.

Renata, Geo, Ola, Genc, Ergys, Guzman, Ilva, Daria, Redi, Klodi, Armand, Anita, Alfred, Deba, Pavjo, Jonis (and all the comrades of Logu i Skëndjiës), Rina, Miri and their children, Arber, Elona, Bruno (and all the friends of Central)…

Goodbye Albania, I will miss you!
Mirupafshim Shqipëria, Do me mungosh!

Lule

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