Contrast. One of the wonderful things about being in a new/different country is the opportunity to observe the contrast between one’s own home and the new place they are in. In some instances, a contrast can pose a challenge; however in other instances, the contrast can be an incredible learning and growing opportunity. One area in which I am truly blessed here is with my internship site, Wings of Hope, or Krila Nade. This placement greatly fits with my area of study, which allows for wonderful learning opportunities. I am so very thankful for this. I am also blessed to be surrounded by an incredibly intelligent staff, who continuously imparts wisdom and teaching opportunities. The one major contrast I have noticed regarding the working environment here in Bosnia versus the United States, is the task versus relationship aspect. At Wings of Hope, relationships are highly emphasized and valued, which is truly a refreshing sight to see. Coffee and conversation are an important part of the day, and makes for a calm and comfortable setting. Unlike in the United States where the completion of tasks is valued over anything else, this allows for relationships to grow and flourish, while still ensuring that tasks and work are completed. This has been perhaps the strongest contrast that I have noticed within my little-over-a-week time of being here. Coming from the United States task oriented nature, I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn how to rest in the conversation and relationship building with others.
Another wonderful contrast here is the deliciousness and availability of fresh fruit and vegetables. On any quick walk around the area that I am staying, I could pass several stands that sell delicious fruits and vegetables for a cost that I certainly appreciate. This is an aspect of Sarajevo that I have quickly grown to love and utilize. While this may be a minor aspect to many, it is one that has stuck out to me greatly.
As an individual who is strong in her own personal faith background, one contrast here is the religious aspect. Sarajevo has a strong Muslim influence and it was been interesting for me to observe and learn about those practices and traditions here. Since Ramadan is occurring, there are many opportunities for me to witness these Muslim practices.