Day 9

Hard to believe it is day 9 here in Sarajevo.  As I write this “the call to prayer” is ecoing from many mosques around the city.  Although it is hot in Denver (we have heard) it is warm here but not as warm as yesterday.  It was a day for service today at the school for the blind.  We took the tram (light rail) to the school, our first experience on mass transit.  We spent a day in the huge rose garden pulling weeds with the gardener there.  The children are out of school for the summer, but it is a boarding school, and the library actually seemed larger than the University of Sarajevo, for which we went to two lectures yesterday.  The political science department and the social work school are joined in one building.  The lectures were very very good.  The politics are so difficult and so very frustrating to just listen to, and the people here are forced to vote along their ethnic lines no matter their opinion.  They wish for peace and no further conflict and this is so very sad.  The second lecture was from a Ph.d who had just had the 20th anniversary of her fathers killing in the war and apologized to all of us for not giving a better lecture.  She gave a fabulous lecture and it is no wonder the political department is joined with social work.  The job rate following the MSW here in Sarajevo is zero percent after graduation.  Yet it appears that all the students want to learn.

The service day today was very peaceful, but looking at the city from the garden was a nursing home that had been destroyed during the war.  As I weeded and looked at this building and listened to Joan Bias’s song Blowing in the wind “Any day now, I shall be released. They say every man needs protection and every man must fall.  How many roads must a many walk down? How many sea’s must a white dove sail?  how many times must the canon balls fly before they are forever banned?  The answer is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind. How many years must some people exist before they are allowed to be free, and how many times can a man turn his head and pretend he just does not see? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind. How many ears must one person have before he hears people cry?  How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died??????”  I ask myself in tears, why, why why???

Heidi Vendegna



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