The honeymoon phase is over. This is neither good nor bad; living in a different country and culture is exciting at first, and then inevitably becomes something… less than exciting. In some ways, falling into this routine is comfortable. I feel nervous thinking about leaving Sarajevo, because I feel that I’ve found my niche here now; I have so much that I’d still like to do and leaving would be another change I’d have to adjust to. Going back to the states will mean the beginning of another quarter of learning, reuniting with my cohort in the International Disaster Psychology program and hearing about all of their summer experiences abroad. I’ll get to have my own room again, in my nice quiet apartment and I’d be able to cook with ingredients that are familiar to me and easily accessible. That said, I’ll be giving up living with my two fantastic roomies here. I’ll miss out on going to the market and buy the freshest ingredients possible, from the people who grew them, at extreeeemely reasonable prices. And I’m definitely going to miss hearing the Macklemore “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” remixes from the bar next door every hour. I wouldn’t be able to go up on the hill and watch the sunset and listen to the call to prayer, or have tea at Hussein’s comfy tea shop. But more than these things I’ll miss the relationships I’ve formed with people here. I’ll miss the heartfelt conversations I’ve had with Belma, Nadja, Nehru, Minela, Maja, Hasan, and Maria.
Looking at what I’ve written above, this was unknowingly, a bit of an exercise in gratitude for me. I realize how I’ve become attached to my little part of this fascinating place, and I’m still not done listening to friends’ stories and gaining an understanding of what happened here and how that affects Bosnians today.