What have I learnt from the coronavirus pandemic? Everybody needs good neighbours.

Laura je dobrovoľníčkou v Albánsku, kde vypomáha s projektovým manažmentom miestnej Adre. Aj jej pandémia znemožnila každodennú pracovnú rutinu. Avšak, vďaka nej znovuobjavila hodnoty vytlačené do úzadia rýchlym životným štýlom.

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Pre zachovanie autenticity výpovede našej dobrovoľníčky ponechávame jej príbeh v pôvodnej, anglickej verzii:

This morning, I woke up and had a healthy breakfast with muesli and fresh natural milk that my neighbour gave me.

Fresh salty cheese and fresh milk to be boiled ahead the consumption. Received from the owner of my apartment, who lives on the right side of my house. While the other delicious thing wrapped in the silver paper was qofte with spinach, received from my neighbour living on the left side of my apartment.
Fresh salty cheese and fresh milk to be boiled ahead the consumption. Received from the owner of my apartment, who lives on the right side of my house. While the other delicious thing wrapped in the silver paper was qofte with spinach, received from my neighbour living on the left side of my apartment. (zdroj: Laura Naw)

I have always seen those bottles of Coca Cola, Fanta, etc. filled with white liquid (milk, now I know) on the streets of Tirana. Although, I have always been attracted by them, never found the courage to buy one.

The lockdown gave me the chance to get to know my neighbours better, despite living next to each other for 6 months already. I've discovered just now, what an amazing people they are. I don’t remember how the affinity among us started. For the 6 months that I have been here, I haven’t seen them often, due to my work routine, different lifestyle and so on. Whenever we met, we just greeted each other politely and that's all. And now?! They are feeding me with delicious food. The photos you can see aren’t at all exhaustive, I received countless marvellous traditional Albanian meals!

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Pasta with tomato and tuna fish. My neighbour works for Maritim Plaza Tirana. A luxury hotel in Tirana. Nothing to complain, amazing dish =)
Pasta with tomato and tuna fish. My neighbour works for Maritim Plaza Tirana. A luxury hotel in Tirana. Nothing to complain, amazing dish =) (zdroj: Laura Naw)
Pudding with crumbled biscuits and dry fruits.
Pudding with crumbled biscuits and dry fruits. (zdroj: Laura Naw)

Their children of 5 and 7-years-old come down and play with me. We play with the ball, hide and seek, catch me and so on but I also have the time to chat as well with their mom!

Maybe it has started some weeks ago when I repaired a deflated wheel on the bike of the oldest child. Since all the shops where closed, I offered myself to help having all tools with me. And what an amazing success! We established a relationship!

Laura's neighbourhoods she got to know "overnight".
Laura's neighbourhoods she got to know "overnight". (zdroj: Laura Naw)

It is so sweet. Sometimes when I am in my living room, working on the laptop, I can hear a tiny voice calling: “Lauraaa”. I run straight away to the yard and see the oldest child with a dish of something delicious.

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Now, I know their names. Yes, it was shameful that I didn't even know their names before, or at least made the effort to remember them.

I am thinking to return the gesture by making a pizza. Throwback to my childhood, I always helped my mum to prepare pizza or cakes, but that was a really long time ago.

So far I gave it a try only twice during the quarantine period. The first attempt was a total failure. The pizza mixture didn’t even raise due to the lack of yeast (but this is another story). Yet, I will return to favour for sure. But, let’s see if it will be a pizza!

*The article was written on April 9th, 2020.

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Laura Naw

Laura je od septembra 2019 dobrovoľníčkou v Albánsku v partnejskej organizácií Adra Albánsko v rámci programu EU Aid Volunteers. Jej vyslanie je súčasťou projektu HVA – Humanitárni dobrovoľníci v akcii. Projekt je financovaný zo zdrojov Európskej Komisie pod hlavičkou programu EU Aid Volunteers, riadeného agentúrou EACEA (Výkonná agentúra pre vzdelávanie, audiovizuálny sektor a kultúru) a DG ECHO (Generálne riaditeľstvo pre civilnú ochranu a operácie humanitárnej pomoci EÚ). Adra Slovensko je jej vysielajúcou organizáciou. Ako sa Laure darí môžete sledovať i na našom Facebooku.

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Poskytujeme rozvojovú spoluprácu a humanitárnu pomoc ľuďom v núdzi. Budujeme kapacity občianskej spoločnosti. Rozvíjame dobrovoľníctvo. Už 27 rokov. Začítajte sa do našich príbehov z terénu a pomáhajte s nami! Zoznam autorových rubrík:  NezaradenéSúkromné

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