Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Few Restful Days In Bosnia & Croatia

We enjoyed a relaxing, informative, fun day in Mostar, Bosnia i Herzegovina.

No matter where we went, kids gathered and became Elder Joe's instant best friends. It was fun just to see how long they'd hang around visiting us. We were suppose to be eating lunch, but our table became a beehive--surrounded by swarming teens. FUN!
What can I say. He attracts 'em like bees to honey.

No matter what country we're in, we find all teenagers to be alike. These girls were on a school field trip from Sarajevo and had fun teasing Elder Joe and trying to speak English with him.

Muslim girls find fun and interesting ways to blend traditional attire with modern styles. They dress in beautiful colors and tasteful fabric. These girls are wearing jeans under their dresses--a common style among Muslim/Islamic girls in Bosnia.

Mostar is a beautiful, quaint village with a strong touch of Turkish ambiance. The ancient bridge and many buildings had to be rebuilt--to scale--after the war.

Sister Dee in the ancient Turkish village of Mostar, Bosnia i Herzegovina.

Hello! from Elder Joe in Sarajevo, Bosnia i Herzegovina.

The Yugoslavian Army heavily attacked the ancient city of Mostar in 1993. This photo was taken from our hotel balcony on the opposite side of the river. Bridges and buildings have been reconstructed, bringing the city back to life. But, there is still a lot to do. The deepest wounds are in the hearts of the Bosnian people. They still speak of the fear and pain from the war that killed nearly 100,000 people throughout Yugoslavia--a country now known as Croatia, Bosnia i Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia and Kosovo.

Apartment building with bullet holes patched up...We like the exclamation mark. Coincidental?

In one canyon along our drive, we came across 32 homes within 1/2 mile that had been completely destroyed. It's hard to imagine the fear that must have existed for families. In some communities, the enemy actually lived among them.
Along the beautiful mountainous countrysides of Bosnia are blown up, shot up homes--a memory of the recent 1991-1999 war and revolution--started at the death of conservative communist leader Tito, and the onset of the aggressive communist regime of Slobodan Milosevic.
Some of our favorite photo moments are catching the common people living their common everyday lives. We caught this man shaving in his side yard.
After a few days of meetings in Sarajevo and Tuzla, and a wonderful wheelchair distribution,
we decided to take a couple of days to ourselves--at our own expense--and drive through the countryside of Bosnia i Herzegovina and along the Croatian coastline, before returning to our desk work in Frankfurt.

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