I never imagined I’d drink something that had garlic as a main ingredient. Said white, frothy beverage is called “agorn.” It sounds like “iron.” And tastes nothing like it. But journalism is one way to experience the unlikely, the beautiful, the ugly and the garlic-y in life.
My project partner Asa and I watched Vlora make mantia, a traditional Kosovan meal of meat wrapped in dough. (It’s delicious). Vlora is an ELL student at the Adult Learning Center. She came to the United States in 2005 to join her husband Ned, who is also from Kosova.
The nat sound couldn’t have been better. And Vlora was comfortable with Asa in the kitchen recording. I had the chance to talk with Ned and learn more about their family’s history and Kosovan history.
A lot has changed in the last 15 years, Ned said. Technology being one of those. I couldn’t agree more with him. Shooting and editing on the iPad can be real challenge, but on Friday, I was thankful for it.
The mobility of the iPad was ideal. I could switch from recording audio to taking a photograph in a matter of seconds. Ned commented a number of times how much technology has changed and how that in turn has changed the way we report.
That’s what I love. I love talking with people and learning about their histories. (Asa shot all of the video, I’ll be honest). The story didn’t just go right in the sense that we got all the footage we needed. It went right because we conversed with Ned and Vlora. They did more than give the answers I was hoping they’d give. They talked. And we listened. We learned about a different place. We learned about the importance of family to Ned and Vlora. We learned about history. We learned about pain.
When I asked him why he came to the US, Ned paused for a moment. His eyes watered a little before he answered.
“Because of the war,” he said.
In that moment, all I could do was listen. But if I can take other people to that past, if only for a paragraph or with an infographic, and they can learn something new about the world, then I’ve done part of my job.