Bosnia Trip – Day 5European Union, Summer 2012

Day 5:

No workout today, we had to be up by 6 and breakfast by 6:30 to check out by 7:00.  I went to bed way too late to get a workout in at 5:30 and still be functional for the day ahead.  Today is supposed to be our hardest day, emotionally.

At breakfast I notice the grapes have a little extra crunch. What? seeded grapes, this almost seems like a real fruit now.  It makes me realize how much we do to our foods in America before we consider them fit for human consumption.  I don’t mind having seeds in my grapes if I know that they are fresh and haven’t had any chemicals added, i digress.

We head to the bus again, today we are going to Višegrad which is in the Republika of Srpska aka Serbian territory.  Our translator Alan is a 22 year old Economics student at the University in Sarajevo.  He is needed because our bus driver does not speak a word of English and the 3 languages of the region are mutually understandable.  When we get on the bus, I instantly fall asleep. We take a pit stop at gas station, I have no idea how long its been. I hate being vehicle narcoleptic.

Gas Prices

 

Warning Signs

Shortly after we arrive at an elementary school.  This is the school where Nansen implemeneted their integration program into the two schools under one roof system.  Our Nansen representative, Genc Goranci had a lot to say  but the principal didn’t speak a word of English.  When we entered the school, it looked like a regular school; drawings from art class hanging on the walls, chairs and tables with scribbles of bored students, it seemed like a public American Elementary school.

Afterwards Alan takes us to a place to have lunch, it has to be a quick lunch since we are pressed for time.  Our guided tour of the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery begins at 1 and it is now 12:30 and as you know I eat slow.  Well I order the rib and beans stew. It is delicious.  While we eat, we chat and I find out that despite the war and current state of the country, Alan is just a regular college student like us.  He watches sports and hangs out with friends like us, they prefer coffee and cigs to the American beer and burgers, and most of all he dislikes school just like us.

Ribs and Beans are in there somewhere

 

 

The Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery (for the victims of the 1995 Genocide) was a tough emotional experience for the group, including Alan whose father is buried there.

Srebrenica Memorial

 

Names of lost loved ones

A Christian Grave

Serbo-Croatian Translation

Arabic Translation

Prayer mats: on the 11th of every month family members gather to pray

Our tour guide: Survivor, but lost his twin brother, father and uncle.

Identification Process

U.S. Attorney General

State Owned and Funded

Walking to the Warehouse

 

After the tour and documentary we decide not to go back to Nansen, strait to Višegrad. We stop on a cliff for a break, only 45 mins left I’ll try to stay awake because I’ve slept everytime we’ve been in the bus… vehicle narcolepsy.  On the ride to Višegrad we pass farms, chicken, sheep, corn fields. It reminds me of Powder Springs.

Coke is Everywhere

Cliff View

 

 

Serbian Flags

We arrive at Hotel Višegrad and me and Batu immediately become divas upon entering the room.  We have one towel for 3 guys and it is dirty.  There are wires coming from the ceiling and walls, there is not air conditioning like the Hotel Astra Garni, both the sheets and comforters on the beds are terribly rough.

View from the Window

Random Wires

At least we have a TV

Mirror: It was like that when I found it, I swear...

More Random Wires

After a bit of complaining we go have our reflection session and dinner with whole group.

Bridge over the Drina

Balkan Burger for Dinner

A stray cat begs for food, Alex keeps feeding it every once in a while (he has a soft spot for cats) but Batu jumps everytime the cat rubs against his leg.  Alex loves cats but Batu hates them, this makes for an interesting dinner.  Midway through dinner, a bug or small bird, it was hard to tell which, attacks Sarah’s plate.  It feels good to laugh after today.

 

This concludes Day 5 of my Bosnia trip.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Alan knows the loss of war.Thanks, again, for posting your pics.

  2. Wow! What an experience. It is a blessing the tour guide is still here to tell the tragic story and to show just how blessed we are. This is why prayer is so very important at all times. As for your narcolepsy you got that from your grandmother. It is okay as long as you are not driving. Please bless your food for I was not sure about the rib stew. By the way who used the towel first:-)

    Take care,

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