This city is full of juxtaposition. It is a vibrant city full of so much life and culture, but not only 20 years ago it was filled with hate, killing and death. I am having a hard time coming to terms with exactly what all occurred here during that time. When studying and preparing for this trip, I made sure that I was educated on what caused the war and the culture of the city. So on arrival, I was expecting it to be pretty obvious that a huge conflict had happened here, but surprisingly there is not a substantial amount of evidence of that. There is the occasional statue or memorial, which reminds passer-byers of what happened but that is it. I almost feel as though there is a feeling of not wanting to remember what happened during those years. Possibly denial? I am not sure. An interesting part is that you could be having a casual conversation with someone on the street and somehow the conversation gets turned into talking about the war. It is not necessarily a negative conversation, but more of an informative one. It could be a specific story from when the war was going on, or about how they were affected due to the war.
Another thing that surprised me, not necessarily about the city of Sarajevo itself, but just in general, is how at home I feel. Even though I have only been here for just over a week, I feel as though I could have lived here my entire life. I am so comfortable, not only in the hostel and with the amazing group that I am with, but just in the city in general. There is a calming effect that this city has on me. I am so excited to see what comes in the next few weeks.