How amazing it is to be back in Bosnia. I suppose part of me thought I might never be able to return. The end of my first day just typifies what the summer will be about and who Bosnians are as people. On our first day Ann and I went to find a place for dinner. The place we thought we wanted to go was having a private party and thus we ended up eating at a small restaurant off the beaten path. As we waited for a table to be cleared, a woman and man came running out of the restaurant and began hugging and kissing Ann. It was Naida and Saed. They are the owners of the hostel in which we will stay for the next two months.
They immediately asked us to join them. It was a fantastic meal full of laughter, great conversation and a wealth of culture and politics. Toward the end of the meal, Saed motioned for the bill and insisted on paying for the meal. They would not allow Ann or I to put down a penny (obviously a penny would have been useless, but you get the point). In that moment the essence of what this summer will be came in full relief…unending generosity, beautiful friendships and things we’ve yet to imagine. In a couple of hours I went from formally meeting these two new friends with a “drago mi je” to hugging and kissing outside the restaurant exclaiming “hvala puno” and “ćao”. The smiles, laughter, kindness, expressiveness, unabashed zest, this is why I am here once again. This is why I had to return to Sarajevo. I wept when we landed in Sarajevo and at that moment I couldn’t quite figure out why, now I remember.