Who am I to speak?

One of the greatest and most valuable aspects of this trip is having the opportunity to meet and hear from those who have lived the life we came here to learn about. Not only being educated on the facts and political influences but being granted a tiny glimpse into what internal thoughts and feelings took hold throughout each traumatic event rings a powerful experience that cannot be explained. The walk from Srebrenica to Potocari gave me some time to bear witness to imagine what went thru the hearts and minds of the 60,000 men, women, and children trying to reach salvation at the UN safe haven. When I found myself internally commenting how hot,tired, hungry, and sore I was I knew that what I was feeling was nothing compared to what happend twenty yeara ago yo those 60,000. I tried to humble myself into embracing all my thoughts wih a slightly humbled twist to acknowledge all the differences between the two situations. I was not fighting to survive life or death andin that recognition I made myself reflect back to day one being in Bosnia to point out where else I found these similar differences. Hassan and Saliha opened their lives to us and I felt that there was a little more I can do to honor them tan what I have been doing. Even more powerful was meeting Salja (sp?) who has dedicated heraelf to thr victims and their families of the Bosnian genocide and ICMP for not 4 months as originally proposed but 11 years. She may not have had any connection to those directly affected by the genocidr however she treated each victim, human bonr remain and the families’ honor with dignity and empowerment (for the affected families). To me, she embidied some of the most obvious ethics of the US social workers’ Code of Ethics:dignity and self worth for all. She has not list her humanity amidst the very difficult work she does. She embodies many qualities I would like to master within myself not only as a social worker but also as a person always with compassion for others and myself. I wonder how many others I have passed on the streets of Sarajevo or elsewhere in Bosnia who have their own hard yet just as equally important stories to tell that have not been told. I also wobder what the children of the survivors hear and how they will carry on their family’s experiences as they grow up. How will this affect the relational dividides between the differing nationalities within the country? Will this change the government procedures and perspective on laws that affect everyone or will there be a perpetual cycle of cultural diaparities that force the people to continue fending for themselves? More questions than answers, always. I have difficulty connecting the micro of bearing presence with Hassan, Saliha, the lady working with the ICMP and even our drivers and guide Hasim, Chefco, and Jadranka who have humbly shared bits of their own first hand experiences. Tryig ti ignore the obvious question of how inhuman we as a race of people can be to one another, I continue to challenge myself to be critical in my thinking and act in as manyaspects of my professional and personal life as I canin a way that dictates that I can do better for others, and ultimately for myself. If I can remember what these faces of resilience look like, I hope to highlight their individuality of humanity in my own perspective and words.


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