A down time

Throughout our preparation process we talked quite extensively about an up and down process that each of us will experience during our time in Sarajevo. Although I had information to forewarn me, the down was a bit harder than I had expected. This is both because of things I had expected (missing my family, boyfriend…and I hate to say it but swimming, this will mean more to those who know me, lattes, quiet places, running on trails NOT pavement, etc.) and many things I had not expected. One of these unanticipated effects of being away is the inability to strike up conversations with random strangers. I guess I had never truly noticed how much I enjoy meeting new people until I have been put into a situation in which I am unable to do so… and to be honest it is frustrating. I have an unwavering desire to talk to these people to better understanding of why things are so much different here than at home. An important piece of fabricating the unknown is by combining, comparing, and contrasting different opinions in order to thread the separate perspectives of things. Oftentimes in education we receive a single-point perspective, especially within foreign affairs. It is then on us, the students and academia, to see to it that the other side goes understood and exposed. So in light of this reaction, I have been able to reason with my frustration over not being able to communicate. This is no doubt a challenge, however I am slowly finding ways to overcome it by seeking out people that speak English, since lets face it my Bosnian vocabulary is next to non-existent.  For example, this morning despite a terrible day full of a tram ticket, being temporarily stranded because of a protest, smoke bombs, dead dogs, and a heart attack witness, I was able to enjoy a conversation with a woman from the Center. She spoke very broken English, but she was able to talk to me about events in her life, and I was able to offer her conversational embrace. It really is the little things in life that matter. Despite all the bad signs and warnings that maybe I should stay inside for a few days, a simple conversation with a stranger was able to make things better. Through this low part of being abroad I was finally able to find the positive, and that is something that is important for this week in the blogging world. 

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