What a summer. I cannot believe that I am finally back in the United States, and back to the real world. The last few days in Bosnia consisted of closure. Closure with friends, closure with internship, and closure with the city. I chose to stay in Sarajevo for a few days after the university program ended to attend some of the films showing in the Sarajevo Film Festival (second largest film festival in Europe). After that, I went to Italy for a week then I spent one night in Amsterdam, and then went back to Scotland for a week to visit my family.
When I was in Amsterdam, I met two guys from Melbourne, Australia at a bar, and when we started talking, I realized that this was the first time that I really tried to explain what my trip to Bosnia was like to people that had no idea the purpose of it. It was word vomit. I don’t think that I completed a full sentence when trying to explain it. I jumped from memory to memory. Trying to explain Srebrenica or seeing bullet holes in buildings all around Sarajevo is just nearly impossible. This was when I realized that I might have to be okay with the fact that people might just not get what my trip was all about, and how much it affected me, and how much it will continue to affect me for the rest of my life.
And I was right. Trying to explain this summer to anyone who wasn’t there is impossible. I have tried with pictures and stories, but no one understands to the extent of how it was. Its so frustrating, and I wish there was a word, a phrase that could completely describe how it was. When people ask me how Bosnia was, I say, ‘it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Sometimes that answer will satisfy people and we move on to the next subject, which occasionally I am okay with, as it doesn’t require me to attempt to explain the summer.
I could not have asked for a more amazing opportunity to end my academic career (at least for the moment), and Bosnia will remain apart of me for the rest of my life.