I’m back in Sarajevo and can’t even begin to explain what a relief it is! Initially, I hesitated speaking about Srebrenica in that light. I didn’t want others to get the impression that I was regretting going, although with deeper reflection that’s where I was going. It didn’t take long before I started repeatedly asking myself, ‘Why did you come?’ and ‘what were you thinking!’ Srebrenica was overwhelming in many ways. That was expected however; as I began to reflect on the experience I realized some things about myself. I have limits and from the moment I arrived to the program, I knew they would be tested. I was shaken and frequently a sense of anxiety came over me. I felt a lack of energy and after 3 days I was ready to leave.
It’s been a few days since I’ve been back and I feel that I’m slowly gaining my energy. After trying to avoid having any conversation about the trip with my family, my mother insisted. You see, my mother is a strong woman and always has been in my life. Since I was a young girl, her philosophy for me was to never give up no matter how many times you’ve hit the ground. Despite her strength, I try to shield her from any of my worries – especially here. The last thing on my mind was to talk to her about Srebrenica but as much as I try not to, my mother is the first person I go to for everything. She is my main source of support, strength and love and after talking to her for only about half an hour, I felt incredibly better. Everyday I am grateful to have her in my life and in a time like this, when I need her most she is there. So, I guess what I would like everyone to get out of this post is the power of love and compassion. Srebrenica showed me what happens when that disappears and when hate takes over. It also showed me the incredible resilience of the people around me. Life didn’t stop during the war and it’s not stopping now. Sometimes even in the most difficult times, you have to keep your head up and while Srebrenica was a hard reality to accept, it was necessary.