Monday, July 31, 2006

Dubrovnik...

If you ask me where in the world I would like most to visit, it would have to be the beautiful city of Dubrovnik on the Croatian coast. So why haven't I gone in the 5 years I have lived in Bosnia if it is so close?? Especially as I have been 4 times to visit my roomie Ljilja in Trebinje which is just 30km away??? Well, I am on a South African passport which means I need visas for everywhere - including Croatia!! And to get a Croatian visa has not been easy for me either - they can be quite mean...

Two months ago I found out I can get a visa which lasts for one year for Croatia if an organisation will guarantee for me - so I called up my good bud Jasna with YWAM in Zagreb and got her to do a guarantee letter... Once I handed in the papers, it took two weeks of waiting with bated breath, but I now have a visa in my passport for Croatia which is valid for ONE WHOLE YEAR of MULTIPLE ENTRIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am still pinching myself - it will make my life a whole lot easier as if I want to travel anywhere I fly out of Zagreb in Croatia and have to apply each time - now I don't have to!! And it also means I can visit my good buds Jasna and Juliana and others in Zagreb (just 2 1/2 hours away) without worrying about visas each time!!

And the best past is that I am off to Dubrovnik at the end of August when I visit Ljilja and her family in Trebinje!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Camp Jahorina


Well, we just got back from the IFES/EUS (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students/Evandjeoska Udruzenja Studenata) camp and it was a great week! Here are the "Banja Luka girls" - Dragana, Ljilja (getting pampered), me, Aleksandra and Sasha. We are spoiling Ljilja as she had worked hard all day cooking meat for all 35 (including a team of 15 Americans) of us on the braai.

Aleksandra and Sasha had a wonderful time at the camp, and were particularly moved by the main speaker, Vanja (here we are - I translated into English for her) who spoke a very powerful word, and it touched even me, while I was translating it! We are very hopeful that both of them will come to know the Lord in a more powerful, personal way in the future.

Dragana and Ljilja were also touched and encouraged by the week with other Christians.

On the last night we had a "cultural evening" and as there was a girl from Kenya (studying in the US) we represented Africa. Here we are teaching everyone to dance to "Bajete Nkosi".

Anyway, despite the fact that we came back "completely dead" as Ljilja says, it was well worth the trip - PTL!! Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 17, 2006

Busy-ness

I think the problem with a blog is when you have stuff to write about you don't have time to write about them... I woke up early this morning to catch up on stuff and I posted (Finally - a week later) about Turkey, but my life right now is pretty blog-worthy, but no time to write much detail!

We got back from Turkey late on Monday night and the YWAM team of 4 girls was here from Hungary, so jumped right into organising for them. And then Ljilja got really ill and ran a high fever for two days - very worrying, but PTL she is doing much better now.

Katie who is staying with me until August arrived on Thursday... She is fitting in well, and it will be a great pleasure having her here - to experience first-hand missionary life. The team, Katie and I will be running an English Club this week (Mon, Wed, Thurs -they handed out 800 flyers, so we will see how many people come!) . Ljilja and I have also been taking the team and Katie to our humanitarian aid visits so they can meet some of our contacts and just let them know that the world hasn't forgotten them... We had a Turkey night on Saturday to share our pics with our friends and introduce them to the team (and we made Turkish Caj - and it turned out fantastic for our first attempt!).

Tomorrow is Ljilja's birthday so we are having a party tomorrow night... looking forward to that!

And in between all this trying to figure out Bosnian and Croatian visa stuff, so being kept busy!!

Turkey pics...

How to summarise the week-long "Balkan Project". The idea behind the project is to give people living in the Balkans a taste of Turkey in a week - well at least around Ismir. We were busy all day every day and so it was quite hard going - but I must say that in 10 days I truly feel like I saw and experienced as much as I possibly could.

The project was run by two wonderful Chinese Americans - Jason and Mailin. To start off with we had 3 days of workshops and seminars, and a leetle adventure on our first day, where they took us across town "for lunch" and then disappeared, leaving us with an envelope with (a little) money, a transport card and instructions to find our way back to the Internet Cafe that they have by 3.30, taking photos on the way of certain things... Needless to say since I am writing this, we didn't get (very) lost and made it back safely!

The rest of the week wasn't quite as adventurous, but we did have fun. From going to a village to watch how they make glass beads, to visiting the castle overlooking the city (above) , going to Ephesus (which was definitely the highlight!), going on the bus, the ferry, the metro and a cable car to get around (and walking a LOT)- and eating pretty much every kind of Turkish food that they have in restaurants and fast food places! We also did various projects - like cleaning trash in one neighbourhood, and giving out food to homeless street kids, as well as hosting a Balkan evening in the internet cafe (which was great fun!).

They did give us (not enough) time for shopping, but the only sea we saw was in the bay which is totally built up and so dirty you can't swim in it - so no beach going or swimming for us! But we did have an amazing view from the place we were staying!!!


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