I left BiH almost two weeks ago now. I did not travel home right away, like some of the others in my class. I think this was both really nice (gave me some extra time to process what I had seen, learned, and heard) but also a bit challenging.
From Bosnia I traveled to The Netherlands, I found myself in the Amsterdam airport experiencing some culture shock. When I met up with my mum and friend I couldn’t help but start in about my experience, on the train, luggage in hand. I don’t know why, but I really couldn’t help myself. As soon as I did, they started to draw comparisons. My friend had gone to Italy after a natural disaster and saw a lot of destruction, she claimed that it must be rally similar. I was really interested in her experience, but I also couldn’t help but think, that is nothing like what Bosnia went through. I think it is hard to share this kind of experience with people, it’s hard to share something that is so foreign. Pictures really do not do it justice, both in the countries beauty but also in its’ destruction. It is also so unthinkable, for us to consider still living next door to people who may have murdered your friends and family. It’s hard to explain, both for me now, but also for them.
I look back on this invaluable experience and can’t help but feel blessed for having the opportunity to go, but also to meet the people we did, and visit the places we did. It was really incredible. I learned from that train experience that I need to challenge myself to explain this experience in different ways, and to keep the people of Bosnia in my thoughts, and to continue to learn about what is going on in the country, and to strive to answer my lingering questions. Also, to talk and continue to process with the great people that I met on the trip. I feel like I have grown in this experience both as a social worker, but also just as a person.