The second trip we took was to Gjakova, which is in the far west of Kosovo. It’s funny to me to say that a town that took 90 minutes to reach by car is in the “far west.” Kosovo is about the size of Delaware, and you can be out of the country very quickly.
This trip was much like the first. We visited the Legal Aid Office, and went through case files for evaluation.
This time we didn’t have an interpreter, since everyone spoke Albanian and some English. I worked with one of the Legal Aid Officers, who was not terribly confident with his English skills. From time to time he would ask my UNDP colleague to help him with some legal terminology. But I have quite a bit of experience communicating with people with very little shared language, so we ended up doing just fine.
Going through case files
One of the most interesting things I learned at the Gjakova office is that they try to do as much for clients as they can the same day that the client comes. The Legal Aid Officer told me that many of the people live in the villages, and the 1 Euro that it costs for them to get into the city is a lot of money for them. So rather than telling them to come back to get their paperwork, they will do it while the client waits. I thought that was really cool.
While we were in Gjakova we had coffee at a bar named “Le Corbusier.” Urban Planning people will appreciate that :)
Le Corb restaurant
Looking down on the city at lunch