Walking the streets of Lisbon is not the same as walking on the streets of Skopje. Not just because of the different architecture but also because the streets of Lisbon are much cleaner. I could not understand this at all. Skopje is a small town while Lisbon is this endless wonder of pavement. It should be the other way around. But there were many things I could not understand while I was there.
Visiting the fairytale place called Sintra and then walking on the narrow pathways of the Monserrate park I realized people who live there actually care what happens to this lush forest and some of them are even trying to protect it and doing this quite successfully. While I was there my mind wandered off to the forests at home, they are much more beautiful but nobody there sees them as such and not one person ever tried to protect them. The forests of Sintra were just forests to me, something I could see every day while I am at home, something that is usual and normal. And yet, Sintra was magical to me.
I could not care a lot about what the guy from the waste water treatment plant had to say at first, but then he started explaining that because of what they do in the plant the dolphins started to return to the river Tagus. He was so happy saying this. He is actually happy that his work is making a difference. Something had to be wrong with him, since in my country I was thought that as long as you have a nice paycheck, you shouldn’t care if you’re making a difference in your country or the world.
Lisbon made me wake up in a world where people still care what happens to life on earth. Maybe for some people this is not so unusual, but for me it’s become somewhat of an inspirational firework. It matters that salamanders are so dumb that you have to show them a way to get out of the water, it matters that dolphins returned to the river and it matters that there are people in this world that feel truly happy about such “not important” things.
So I have to give a huge thank you to all the people from the projects we visited who took the time to explain what they do there, with such love in their eyes, they really made my brain think a little bit different. And to the EJC for the clever thought of schedule.