I continue to be amazed by this new world around me. The streets themselves have so much to tell as they yearn for people to understand what they have been through. What surprises me the most is how the Bosnian people open their arms so willingly to others. They truly thrive off of the company of others and sharing who they are and the accomplishments they have had in life. I will be walking down the streets of Sarajevo and feel an immediate sense of belonging. I feel safe and secure, even more so than I have felt in my own neighborhood. As a person who strongly values connection with others and enjoys social interactions, I feel that I have had the opportunity to truly bond with many Bosnian men and women throughout this experience. The conversations I have had even within a five-minute time frame have opened my eyes to a world of love and acceptance that I have not had before.
I walk into a coffee shop and I am asked where I am from, but not in a condescending way but in a way of curiosity and excitement. Then I find myself in a conversation about what America is like and the wonderful things the Bosnian people have heard about it. This in itself shocks me. Although I am proud to be an American and I am proud of where I come from, I am also very disappointed in many aspects that now shape American culture. When that pops into my mind I then remember what the Bosnian people have gone through and the despair they continue to face 25 years later. In their eyes, they must see other countries as being stronger and more stable.
As I said before, the positive nature and the unbelievable grace the Bosnian people possess is truly inspirational. They have every right to live in anger and hurt, but they do everything they can to live in happiness and prosperity. As I continue my journey here in Bosnia and then return home, I will make a conscious effort to truly experience life through positivity and love. I will work to not take things for granted and be grateful for all that I have.
Thank you Bosnia.