As people that are in love with the mountains of Kosovo, it’s nature and people, we were eager to meet our participants and head toward the thrilling outdoors deep in Shar Mountain.
We planned the two days in all detail. How we arrange the food, the camping, the presentation, and the hike the next day. We were extremely happy in the process of planning, especially when we understood that our participants, the youngsters from Gjakova, Dragash, and Decan were so excited that they couldn’t sleep. Because of that, this project will always have a special place in our hearts.
We started early morning from Prishtina, me, Metodi Chilimanov and Dhardha Krasniqi. Metodi is a colleague and mountain guide, who helped the organization and presentation as wel as the making of the brochure, and Dhardan is a photographer and a youngster himself, and enthusiast in adventure sports too. We were a motivated group of likeminded people, ready to share our passion for the outdoors, our mountains and work to our participants.
We first passed Gjakova, where the bus was already ready, full of happy smiling faces. We went to Dragash, where we picked our other participants and went to our base and amazing hosts in N’Bjeshke in Zapluze.
We started the presentation for the profession of mountain guiding, making it as interactive as possible. We presented ourselves and our lives emersed in mountains, sports and working with clients, the neverending streak of exploring new trails, products, combinations, meeting new people, sharing our traditions and culture with them. And how happy we felt in that.
Our participants were motivated to talk, share and ask us questions. And we had organized the presentation to be proactive. The tour we had planned to present was the very tour we were doing the next day. So we set the basics and presented how we create tours. We also gave the basics of what it means to be a mountain guide so our participants could be active also in the tour the next day.
After our presentation we had another one from Kaltrina, the manager of N’Bjeshke. She also explained her story, and how she choose to live and work in the mountains, What is the potential of mountain tourism, and that the doors of N’Bjeshke are open to anyone wanting to come, work and learn more about the hospitality and tourism industry.
The next morning we had the cute problem of waking them up from enjoying the sleep in nature. We had breakfast and it was time for the next adventure – Hike to Skarpa peak. We made sure everyone is ready and packed well. We started the hike by the rules, having guides in front and back. Giving explanations and brakes. And then we selected new guides from our group, they had to organize the group, the walking paste and also to stop and explain things they knew about the mountains or about the history and culture of Kosovo.
Slowly we reached the peak, all of us together as a group. The day was amazing, and the views were worth the effort. We made a group photo at the peak, explained about what mountains and countries we can see around us, and happily went down. We reached N’Bjeshke for our lunch, and the transport was already there. Lots of hugs and smiles at the departure, and our participants went home, tired but smiling, full of positive energy and new skills.
We stayed a little bit more, to process all the amazing things we went through together with our participants and then went home to set all our gears back in place, and for some well deserved rest. And of course, the next day we went in our beautiful mountains again, because we live for it.
This project was implemented by Utalaya Foundation and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Youth of Kosovo.
Our Trainers: Uta Ibrahimi, Metodi Chilimanov, Driada Matoshi, Kaltrina Salihu and Photography Dardan Krasniqi.