After arriving in Bosnia after a long day and a half of flying I was really excited to begin seeing the city I have learned so much about. I did not have a window seat flying in so I could not see any of the city from above. By doing some research about Sarajevo prior to arriving I expected the city to be beautiful but in a way that was unique to a recently war torn country. If I had not done research and new about the war it would have been hard to tell that the damage was from shrapenel. As we began to tour the city my expectations were reached. Sarajevo was amazing at first sight and it is hard to put words to the sights of the people and the buildings. Sarajevo was a lot bigger than I expected and the architecture was different. There are such differences in the buildings, some had obvious damage while others have been completely rebuilt. The city seems to be adapting and almost embracing the after effects of the war and that is so fascinating to me.
Every sight I have seen has been a new learning experience and makes me think of the NASW code of ethics and social work values. This experience will allow me to explore these values when talking with survivors and listening to Ann and our tour guide. I have become more aware of how real this war and genocide was once I came to Bosnia and I am really grateful for this opportunity to learn. It has only been 24 hours since we have arrived and I feel like I have been overloaded with information almost. There is so much to learn and discover here!
The most eye opening experience I have had so far was at the bobsled run. It was so surreal to stand in exact spots that snipers stood and be on the hills that I have read so much about. The hills are so close to the city and I understand why people must have been terrified to go out into the streets. This is something that is hard to put into words unless you experience it first hand.
I look forward to the rest of the trip and learning from all the girls that I experience this trip with. I have so much growing to do as a social worker and I believe that this trip will be important for that.
Stay tuned for more!