Week 1 – Reflection

Week 1 in Bosnia…

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It doesn’t seem much different than my life in the USA and yet everything IS different. Its so easy to go our and enjoy the wonders and festivities out here. And yet I’m not full integrated into the country enough to feel at home or even understand the words spoken by those around me. Yet, even so, relationships have begun to blossom. My Bosnian is bad, but a few words of “dobro jutro” and “kako ste” have helped me connect with some of the most genuine and loving people. That is exactly what I wanted from this trip and I will do my best to continue building these relationships.

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I pray that this trip will provide me all of the personal growth and healing that I need to start off my new year this September. I am about to start a new life with my future husband, embark on another year of graduate school, and begin discovering what path I want to take in my career. I’m pretty confident that I am just where I need to be to find the tools within myself and inspiration within my surroundings to understand the world around me and the role I want to take on in it.

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When I saw the sniper’s nest that formerly surrounded Sarajevo when it was under siege from 1992-1995, I couldn’t help but think of how humans could physically find ways to destroy each other from seemingly impossible distances. Yet, you see the city and the country today in all of its glorious beauty and it’s almost surreal that those same mountain sides and buildings had once been destroyed and under fire. The land itself has recovered and proves resilience. The people have also proved their own resilience in maintaining an enriched life despite their war time experiences. And the tensions still remain, the taboos still exist, and the frustration at the post-war systems intended to promote peace is profound. I hope to learn more how people navigate all of these juxtapositions and find ways to take control of their lives and their country outside of their limited government. That in itself is a true resilience to maintain your sense of self and responsibility to protect your country and its people with or without the global and national support you need.

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I’m excited and curious to see what adventures and lessons lie ahead of me on this journey to Bosnia.

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