I have to say that every time I travel it is an invaluable experience. No matter how many times I go abroad I am never done learning. So far, this is what I have gathered in BiH:
1. This country is absolutely gorgeous.
2. I am reminded of this every time I travel abroad. Keep things in prospective. Being here, and around the amazing people that I have met so far, takes it to a different level. There is so much destruction in this region, and so much pain, and yet they are so happy and giving, they don’t even consider the idea of revenge.
3. ALWAYS keep your bus ticket. You will hear about it if it is misplaced…even for just a few minutes.
4. Be ware when entering and exiting vans, they will hurt you if you slip.
5. No matter how much you travel, expect a new experience, don’t get comfortable in your previous knowledge.
(Mosque next door to a church there in the background, I can honestly say I have never seen that before)
6. The resiliency of people is shocking. Meeting some of the people we have, talking to them, and hearing their stories have completely blown me away, I have such respect for each one of them.
7. Learn from my peers, everyone experiences things differently. From someone who has never left the country, to the person who has had a hard time staying state-side for longer then a year, I can and have been learning from each of them equally.
There is so much interesting history in this region. It is an amazing intersection of religion, culture, beauty, race/ethnicity, experiences, and pain. I find that I am asking questions pretty much constantly. “Why has the rebuilding been so random?”, “Who directs the military?”, “Who delivers the funding for the memorials?”, “What is it like for a Serbian woman to work towards identifying bodies? Does her family have an opinion about it?”..these are only some examples of what has been running through my head. Even after seeing what we have, I feel like we haven’t even scratched the surface, and I want to know so much more.