We began with a 30 hour trip to get here that pretty much was foreshadowing for the whole trip. In Bosnia it is important to be flexible and spontaneous because things and plans are ever changing. And for those of you who know me or have gotten to know me the last couple weeks you know that this is definitely not my strong suit. I am impatient and orderly. I like structure and plans. I always want to know what is ahead so that I can be prepared.
In Bosnia, this is not possible. People are never on time because things come up. You meet people who want to tell you everything they know and it is rude to interrupt and leave them. You have buses that do not show up because there was a world cup game the night before (we assume), or buses that drive so slow they get you there an hour behind schedule so you must always be prepared to change your plans.
Coming from the United States where you are never late, unless it is maybe by five minutes or so, it is interesting to show up to a meeting an hour late or even thirty minutes late but here things come up. Here it is more about your relationships with people and not interrupting them rather than hurrying off to check the next thing off your list.
While for many of my colleagues this was the end of the trip, for me, this two weeks was just the beginning. What I learned over the past two weeks and know I will be working on most this summer in order to hopefully bring back with me is to slow down and value the relationships you build rather than trying to stick to a rigorous schedule. Wish me luck…