Leaving Bosnia was sad for me even though I was excited to be home. On the way back home, I really thought about what my response was going to be when people asked me how the trip was. Thinking about this gave me some anxiety. How do I even begin to describe what I experienced? There was beauty, fascination, sadness, happiness, curiosity, adventure, and life changing experiences. Many people I know already have a perception of what they think Bosnia much be like. How do I change these perceptions of those I know?
Once home, I was asked almost immediately how the trip was. I froze almost and ended up saying good. I decided to describe the beauty of Bosnia and the amazing people I met. As I saw more people, and was asked more and more about what the trip was like, I found it easier to just explain the trip using the photos I took. It helped me organize my thoughts. It is very hard to just talk about what I did in an organized manner.
Now that I am home, I feel I am processing more than I did while in Bosnia. I think about what I experienced a lot and am trying to identify exactly how I feel now that I’ve left. I cannot get over the resilience I saw in the people I spent time with. I do not know exactly what I expected, but I defiantly did not expect to be so impacted by the people I met while in Bosnia. I feel I have changed some. How can you not change after a trip like this? I keep thinking about the term “istina” which means “the truth”. I felt that this was a common theme amongst the people we spent time with. They wanted us to know the truth and to hear their stories. I will take this with me. People can go through horrible atrocities and loose everything, but somehow being able to speak their truth helps them to keep going and may even help them heal in some way.
I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to have this experience. When asked if I liked this course, I will say I loved it. I know this experience will be something I talk about throughout my life. I am sure I will think about the people I met as I move on in my career. I will return to Bosnia one day.