Joana is a Portuguese who is 35 years old, she is an environmental engineer (yes, there is such a thing, only I have never heard of this before) and she says that traveling is one of her great passions. We continue to talk about everything that she would first mention to someone she just met and adds 'I like outdoor activities a lot, which doesn't mean I'm a sporty person (she adds with a laugh, and we also learned in the video that she goes to the gym because she is ‘forced to’), I like to eat and to travel.'
Joana is originally from the northern part of Portugal, which she says is populated by extremely hospitable people who know how to welcome strangers (or so her friends say). 'What else makes us an interesting destination for tourists is the excellent national cuisine, which is characterized by a lot of fish, meat, a mild climate, and pleasant temperatures throughout the year.'
What definitely struck me when Joana described the Portuguese to me, or her personal experience of her compatriots, is that she says that they always have a solution to every problem, even though sometimes it seems impossible.
Although she is almost always genuinely smiling, she says that she does not consider herself a positive person, which surprised me. 'In the past, I made plans many times and they all failed, so, for example, I have no plans when someone asks me for the next 10 years. What I can say is that I would like to work in the field I am in now, and I also want to start some personal project related to carbon footprint, but these are just ideas, not plans. I live one day at a time, I don't have many hopes and dreams.'
We stayed a little longer on the topic of the environment. 'In my opinion, the greatest danger to the planet is the human species. It always comes down to a lack of education and laws, every country must implement the laws it passes, and not just keep them as a dead letter on paper. There must be a motivation for such changes, and currently there is none, because this is not considered something that is profitable.'
Joana travels a lot as part of her job, and I was interested in whether she always ends up in a coworking space or prefers to work from her accommodation, cafes, etc. 'I'm a big fan of coworking spaces, because when I work from home it seems quite depressing to me. tershouse is the third coworking space I've been a user of so far, and I really like the environment; it's calm, relaxed, people socialize, there are many young people here who speak English, which is important to me.'
Finally, I asked her if she likes Sarajevo and what she particularly liked. 'I like the whole country, and the climate and nature are my favorites. What I don't like is that it is quite disorganized, and that it is a very confused situation politically. As a foreigner, I had no idea that there was so much confusion here regarding that.'
Joana works in the environmental engineering department that deals with health and safety and quality of services in an gas & oil company. Although she wants to continue to do this in the future, and even to stay in the same company where she is happy, she says that her job is still boring. What I immediately had to ask her was how someone decides to work in the field of environment and when. "Hah that's an interesting story. Once upon a time in '98 my parents and I moved to a place where there was no garbage recycling culture, and that's when I decided to write a letter to the mayor on this topic. I received an answer and after that, garbage recycling was introduced in that place, and I decided that when I grow up, I will deal with something related to the environment.'