Vesna – Vitez
“Having different points of view makes for much more interesting conversation.”
I lived in Zagreb for the previous six years with my sisters. At the University of Zagreb, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and a Master’s Degree in Special Planning and Regional Development. I have always been attracted to maps, history, and geopolitics – topics which can be contentious in BiH and arouse strong opinions. I read everything I could on these topics starting in high school, so that I could develop informed opinions. When I learned of the possibility of studying these topics at university, I could not have been more thrilled. I love the idea of being able to apply this knowledge through practice, especially given its potential to improve my community through development projects.
As a result of the pandemic, I returned home to Vitez. I am happy to be back home, but unfortunately there are no employment opportunities in the area. Some people encourage me to join a political party, suggesting that a “party card” will help me to successfully apply for a position; however, I do not believe this should be necessary if you are truly qualified for a job. Perhaps I make it harder on myself by depending upon my own qualifications and skills, but I prefer it this way. I do not want to be part of the political system in order to ensure my own self-interest. Politicians, regardless of identity, seek to benefit themselves rather than their communities. Everyone knows this, and yet, after 25 years, the people still choose nationalist politics over the greater good.
Although remotely, I will continue to work in Croatia since this is where so much EU-funded inter-regional development work is occurring. I am hoping one day, perhaps as BiH gets closer to EU membership, I will be able to bring my work home. Most of my friends who have left the country do not even consider returning to Vitez. Like any good geographer, I am eager to explore and take on new challenges, but I believe we should try to do better for the place from which we came. I think this feeling will ultimately bring me back home.
Iako od kuće, i dalje ću raditi u Hrvatskoj, jer se tu dešava mnogo međuregionalnog razvojnog posla koji finansira EU. Nadam se da ću jednog dana, možda kako se BiH bude približavala članstvu u EU, moći doći kući sa svojim poslom. Većina mojih prijatelja koji su napustili zemlju ne razmišljaju ni o povratku u Vitez. Kao i svaki dobar geograf, i ja sam nestrpljiva da istražim i prihvatim nove izazove, ali vjerujem da bi trebalo da se potrudimo da učinimo bolje za mjesto iz kojeg dolazimo. Mislim da će me ovaj osjećaj na kraju vratiti kući.