Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Some thoughts on the war...

I just wanted to write down some of my thoughts from this weekend. It was kind of surreal going to Olja's old house and seeing where she played as a child ("here we had a basketball hoop") and yet it was completely in ruins... I have seen other destroyed houses - but this time it was different - you see she is not a poor Muslim refugee who fled from the agressive Serbs. She is a Serb who fled from the Muslim and Croat forces at the end of the war. This part of the story in the war doesn't get told very often. Near the end of the war, the Serbs were pushed back and the Croatians and Muslims pushed through quite far. This is sometimes given as was one of the reasons the war came to an end - as the Serbs realised they might lose if they carried on... However, what doesn't get told is the countless refugees (Serbian) who fled and who lost everything because for whatever reason the Muslim and Croat forces destroyed their homes as they came through. This was systematic destruction of EVERYTHING in the way...

My point is that people who blame the Serbs for everything bad that happened in the war have missed the fact that there are also many Serbian victims. Ok, some argue that the Serbs did more damage and the Muslims and Croats were only taking revenge - but that still doesn't condone the wanton destruction that happened in those months. Every side had a hand in war crimes and the icky things that went on here... And it was just made clearer to me this weekend, seeing the destroyed houses on the Serb side.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Weekend away...

I went this weekend with my friend Olja to her gran's house - where she is from. It was all destroyed in the war, but they recently rebuilt a house for her gran - so that is where we we went. We had a braai (barbecue) for (Orthodox) Easter and went to Olja's (still destroyed) house to see what it was once like - hopefully they will be able to rebuild one day.

Here we are at the braai - with Olja's family. Spot Olja's gran and "Chicho" (or granduncle) to the right... Posted by Picasa

Olja and me Posted by Picasa

Here is a pic of the houses...Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 21, 2006

Colouring Easter eggs... Here are some of the Easter eggs that we coloured for "Orthodox Easter" (which is this Sunday). Aren't they cool? (spot the South African serviette underneath!). You colour them on "Veliki Petak" or "Big Friday" and then on Easter Sunday you share them with your friends - and hit each other's eggs to see whose is stronger!  Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 14, 2006

Well I attempted to make Hot Cross buns for Easter as lots of people have this week mentioned them in emails... and I just got to wanting them (even though I am not a great fan of them). I got the recipe off the internet and they turned out great. I took the better looking ones to my landlady so they could share in one of "our" Easter traditions (they always include me in theirs!). Although you can hardly see the cross on these ones, they all tasted great! Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 10, 2006

Only in Bosnia...

I went for a couple of days to Zenica last week (to sort some paperwork out - more on that in a later blog) and on the train on the way down, I was trying to organise ahead of time seeing everyone that I needed to see. I sent Vesna a message saying "Hej cao, dolazim u Zenicu - da li mogu sutra da navratim na kafu?" (Hey ciao, I am coming to Zenica, can I come by for coffee tomorrow?).

I got the following message as a reply: "Naravno, ali ko si?" (of course, but who are you?) [I hadn't signed the message, as I assumed she had my number on her phone... ]

Only in Bosnia would a person not care who was wanting to come for coffee!!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

My wonderful parents...

I have to brag a bit about my fantastic folks whom I owe BIG time. Mom sent me an sms on Wednesday afternoon to say that I needed to check my email as they had a question for me with regards to some airmiles that were expiring at the end of March. I thought that it was just them wanting to maybe find out if when they could come visit me this year, using their airmiles. As I was out and about, I wasn't able to check email until after 10 that night, but when I did, I was amazed as they were offering to use the miles to pay for me to fly from London to Cape Town!! And wanted to know what date I wanted to come...

After driving to the airport, standing in a queue for 2 hours, they managed to secure me a seat on the date that I wanted... So, it is official, for my next "furlough" I am going to be arriving in Cape Town on the 13th of January... and all I have to pay for is the Zagreb to London leg! Yahoooooo! What great folks have I??
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