Barbra Bearden (Kosovo)

Barbra Bearden (Kosova Women’s Network – KWN): Barbra Bearden graduated in 2004 with a BA in Communications from Centenary College of Louisiana. She then worked in non-profit development and external communications; corporate public relations and marketing; and website design. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Louisiana Chapter), Sigma Tau Delta honors society, and the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. At the time of her fellowship, Barbra was pursuing her Masters in International Communications at American University in Washington, DC.



Arrival

08 Jun

According to my digital map I am about half way between Boston (my hometown capital city – give it up for them RED SOX!!!) and London. I have packed up my life, stored it and left it behind — excited about what will happen over the summer.

I will arrive at 5 am, change planes and airports; and then, finally, be on my way to Pristina. I have been horrible about blogging to this point—getting ready for this adventure in combination with my mother’s ordination into the Episcopal ministry has not lead to a blog conducive lifestyle. (I will take a moment here to say, congratulations momma).

I have been reading up on the history in the Balkans in a book called Blood and Vengeance. A wonderfully written and poignant book that recalls the stories of one family from the 1400s to the current decade detailing the Srebrencia massacre; Ottoman Turk invasion; World War one and two; the regimes of Tito and Milosevic. My knowledge of the Balkans was limited, at best, prior to reading this book. Now I am anxious to deepen my analysis on this region through personal contact. With the treaty between Montenegro and Serbia the Balkans is at a critical point where the success or failure of the Montenegrin state could determine the course of history over the next 200 years. What an amazing time to be working on women’s rights and civic participation in the region. In the coming months I could be witness to the forming of a new nation state. Of course I am not so naïve to hold my breath – but I am confidant that civil society organizations, like KWN, will pave the way to a stable and independent state of Kosova, a participatory democracy and equal rights among men and women.

Funnily enough (to the great dismay of my parents) I am not nervous at all. Warning of ‘threat level orange’ and civil strife are not really registering in my brain. I understand the potential for danger – but honestly, I am much more concerned with doing a good job. I have read the blogs of the pervious intern; read up on the region, and done all the prep work I can manage in order to begin a successful internship. Everything else: security, avian flu, and my own self doubt will have to take a secondary space in my mind while I concentrate on the task at hand.

I am leaving for Kosova to assist KWN and to advocate their cause to the international community. When I get in country I hope that my preparations, flexibility, and positive attitude help KWN and myself to make significant strides toward a wide-spread, polished, and professional reputation among the international community.

I don’t know, really, what to expect or what my daily life will be like. Most of the other interns are already with their host organizations. I am humbled to have this wonderful opportunity to learn and work in Kosova with women who have overcome and accomplished so much.

So for now…I m on a plane with nothing but a lot of great ideas and questions. More to come I promise. Right after I send the “everything is fine” email to the fam this blog will be my next priority. Thanks for keeping up!

Peace, Barb

Posted By Barbra Bearden (Kosovo)

Posted Jun 8th, 2006

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