We are always trying to go to smaller cities, and instead of using hotels staying with friends or even strangers, listening to different personal stories and exploring local communities. Macedonian town Kavadarci was not an exception. We stayed at our friend’s place, family have told us the stories about the country and the surrounding of Kavadarci.
As it turned out, our host was very much concerned with the Roma people living nearby. They live a bit far from other inhabitants, having no access to water and all basic needs. Children are not going to school, they lack access to basic needs, they do not have jobs, but what is the most problematic, citizens of Kavadarci mostly do not do anything to make a change and improve living conditions of these people even for a bit, to make a step forward in communication with them. Most of the people try to avoid this community, ignore their existence and problems they have, while having as an excuse that most of Roma people are violent and rude. However, they miss one point: this attitude has a reason, and usually people should try themselves in the shoes of others, especially try to imagine having life like this, living everyday with their children in the environment like this. As it turned out, usually it is easier to close your eyes and pretend there are no problems and you can continue your everyday life without caring about neighbors, who can not afford bread and water, not to talk about education, for their kids.
We visited Roma Community on the first day we arrived to Kavadarci. It is very rare to meet people so alive and joyful.Settlement is full of noisy children, who are bit resistant at the beginning and very open in couple ofminutes. We took pictures, as they ask for more, and they want to see all the time, how they look like on pictures. They do not want to let us go and hope we will come next day as well. Some people speak German, as some of them have lived in Germany, or some of their relatives are still there. Life is very difficult, however, still full of joy. “could you imagine anybody living in such conditions being still so joyful?” asks our host, definitely not. Most of the people earn their money by collecting some garbage and bottles. Only in exceptional cases you can find anybody working time to time, receiving private offers.
We could not leave Macedonia without being thankful to our Roma friends for hosting us for few hours. We bring them some pictures we printed for them, which makes them so happy and again they want to host us again and again everyday. Unfortunately, this is very small what we could do for them. We had to leave Macedonia after two beautiful days spent in Kavadarci.