I can’t believe our time in Bosnia is about to come to an end. This experience has been filled with so many memorable moments, laughter, tears, inspiration, and heartbreak. I have learned so much more than the history of a war, I’ve learned the resilient spirit of people. My heart has been touched by all of the people I’ve met here and hearing their stories of devastation and courage. I’ll be forever grateful for their willingness to share their stories so openly with us. Because of them my own story is enriched and changed forever.
As I reflect on the time spent in BiH, I’ve realized how important it is to be aware of what is happening in the world. It’s easy to dismiss or forget what is going on beyond our own little world. As a social worker, it is an injustice to those who have lived through and those who have lost their lives to war, natural disasters, or poor social and economic conditions, to not pay attention or to turn a blind eye. This trip has sparked a renewed interest in expanding my knowledge and awareness of the bigger picture. This experience has inspired me to be more thoughtful and intentional about seeking information about world events and social justice issues. I’ve been reminded of the importance of questioning, to always question the unknown, to question the things that don’t seem right and to question your own soul and heart. The most powerful learning on this trip has been through questioning and experiencing through other’s eyes. Rainer Maria Rilke said, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.” I’m so thankful for the opportunity on this trip to live the questions.
I originally termed this experience an adventure, but now I think a more apt description is a journey. This was a journey of seeking to understand, to learn, to grow, to be inspired, and to be changed. What’s different about this journey than others is that it won’t end tomorrow or a week from now or even a month. Understanding and processing the vast amounts of information learned from this experience will most likely be a lifelong process, one I hope to carry with me wherever I wander. information learned from this experience will most likely be a lifelong process, one I hope to carry with me wherever I wander.