by Guxim Klinaku from Kosovo
(CIEE Work & Travel USA, Summer 2016)
Gresë and I knew each other before, but it was during our CIEE Work & Travel USA program in the U.S. that we really connected. Traveling does that to you – it makes you closer by bringing people together to face the challenges and to enjoy the adventures.
We worked in a small but very popular ice cream store on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. And if you are wondering, yes, we could eat all the ice cream that we wanted! The small city was very lively and had plenty to do. It is always great to have someone with whom to explore the U.S. and its amazing lifestyle. We were lucky enough to have each other!
We moved in in a nice house close by the ocean, which we shared with our friends. There, we would have parties and dinners and got to know many international CIEE fellows that were doing the same program during the summer of 2016! Everybody was super kind to us and we enjoyed the experience to the maximum.
By mid-summer of the program, we were both notified that we were accepted into the CIEE Civic Leadership Summit. How exciting! We were going to go to Washington, D.C. together! That was the trip of a lifetime and the starting point of our work together. We got very inspired to bring our experience to Kosovo and get back to the community through a few projects that we developed while in D.C.
Later on, we visited Maryland and New York City together. We both loved the “Big Apple” – the city that never sleeps! But I think that we most enjoyed parties by the ocean in Delaware, farmers markets, walking around cities we had never seen before, and making new friends with locals and other international visitors.
Now, we both live in Kosovo and lead Keep It Green, an organization we founded after we came back from the program. We are proud to have gathered a community around our organization who are just as passionate about protecting the environment as we are. So far, we have implemented a few very impactful projects and traveled to a few more places in Europe, and many plans lie ahead!
Gresë and I are both very dynamic people who like to be active, travel, initiate new things, contribute to the community, and explore life in all its forms. So here’s to the future, wherever it may take us!