Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finnish Evening at English Club...

This evening at English Club I had the evening off and the Fins (and one Czech) ran the show. Miika, Kesija (Miika and Mirjam's eldest daughter) and Lea (their 4 daughters' teacher) showed us some funny things about Finland (like the fact that a national sport is throwing Mobile phones and they have competitions in Air guitar playing). David from Czech republic taught us some basic Finnish. Below is Miika showing us some of the 15 different cases that Finnish has. (glad I don't have to learn this language!)
Speaking of David, he has been in Banja Luka now for almost 3 months, finishing his thesis in Serbian language (for his studies at Prague University) and helping at English and Alpha and wherever else, and is leaving to go back to the Czech Republic this week. From the beginning I have been campaigning for him to think about coming back here to work alongside us, as he really is an asset to the work here (he speaks the language fluently, and is outgoing, and well fun to be around, and everyone loves him!) He is praying about coming back in some capacity, and looking for a way to do that. So for those that pray - pray with him and us for God to find a way to bring him back!! (and no don't get any ideas - I hate it when people think just because he is male and single that means we can't just be friends!!) Below is him (behind with glasses) hugging Miika and Natasha and with Mladen (from the English Club).
I have a cute story about him which just shows how dry he can be: After Alpha one week, Ljilja and I were driving him home and I said (we were talking in Serbian) "my bed is crying for me" (which is how you say that you are REALLY tired). He said "yes my bed is also crying for me". After a few minutes of other conversation he said "man I don't know how I am going to be able sleep now, my bed is all wet..." Ljilja and I got all concerned and were offering him a place to stay, etc... and then he says "my bed is all wet from the tears, because it has been crying for me all this time..."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

USB Weekend...

The EUS USB-United Students of the Bible meetings happened in Banja Luka this weekend. We haven't got together since camp at the end of July, so it was really great to catch up with everyone. Here are most of us on Friday night at our house: I decided for dessert to make pumpkin pie, (with the butternut I have that Dragana's dad grew for me this year) seeing that it was American Thanksgiving on Thursday and Jenny and Tiffany were with us. Here we are with the half of one pie that we hadn't eat yet. And even if I say so myself it was GOOOOOOOOD!!!
Besides Jenny and Tiff, we also had Jan and Anneriet from Holland staying with us for the weekend and along with them, their very very very cute son Joas. (Who was sooo good my landlady, who lives upstairs, didn't even know we had a baby in the house!!) Here we are:
So what did we do at the USB? We had some worship, some teaching, some discussions, some hanging out and most of all fun!! Here we are during one of the sessions: On Saturday after the rest of the people left, and Jan and Anneriet and Joas were visiting other friends, Jenny, Tiffany, Ljilja and I went to coffee at what is fast becoming my favourite place in Banja Luka as they actually have proper English Tea (and is the first place I have found in Banja Luka to have it!). The weather was really nice (well for this time of the year) so we got to sit outside!Unfortunately Tiff got really ill on Saturday night and so is still with us having not been able to return to Zenica on the train today, Sunday - as Americans would say "bless her heart" or South Africans "shame, poor thing". I feel quite bad because I was jokingly trying to get her to stay one more night and then when she HAD to, I felt quite guilty! But I figure if she is going to get sick away from home, it is good that she is here with us, so we can give her good care because we wuv her!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Zagreb trip...

I went up to Zagreb for the weekend to write the Cambridge TKT (Teacher's Knowledge Test). I decided to do this because I will need to have some proof that I can teach English for next year when it comes time to apply for my "permanent residency" as they are stricter than just for temporary. It went well, PTL!

I went up and down by train because it has been snowing non-stop since Wednesday night and I figure the safest way to travel in the snow is by train. Well, it may be safe, but it wasn't on time. I waited 1 1/2 hours on Friday to leave Banja Luka (because one of the electric cables had fallen somewhere on the tracks). They kept us on the station WITHOUT heat for 1 1/2 hours...without telling us how long we would have to wait... so not a happy camper, but, PTL, the rest of the trip was without incident.

In Zagreb, I stayed with Juliana, my American YWAM friend and she had organised a Thanksgiving dinner (complete with Turkey) for some friends and I was the token "non-American". So on Saturday after the exam I was treated to a full (and completely unexpected) Thanksgiving dinner!! Along with what must be the best pumpkin pie that I have ever had (sorry Beth Summay - better even than yours!).

Okay, the funniest part of the trip happened at the border on the way back. On the way to Zagreb the guy was all excited about my South African passport and took all the details down, etc and was chatting away with me and saying it was very unusual to have that sort of passport come through there (it is the first time I have gone by train and thus the first time I have crossed at that border). Anyway I got to the border today on the way back and a DIFFERENT border guard took my passport, looked at it and said "were you the one that came through on Friday?". Obviously I was the talk of the border!! How funny is that! :-)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

CHE Seminar

CHE (Community Health Education/Evangelism) is a method used to bring spiritual aspects into humanitarian aid work. The seminar was held this weekend in the Christian Fellowship, with over 30 people in attendance. A team from Tuzla came to run it and we had people from Zenica, Sanski Most and Sarajevo also join us. Here we are on Friday night and then below that on Saturday - the way the seminar was mostly run, in a circle... Besides helping in all the behind the scenes stuff, I also got to lead worship, and it was great leading for so many people (I realise how my life has changed when 30 people is a lot of people...). We also made a bit of a band up on Sunday morning for worship - two guitars, the piano and a trumpet, and it was just so nice to be leading with a bigger group for a change!We had 5 people staying with us on Friday and 6 on Saturday (because, of course, we are crazy!). Below we are pictured on Friday night. The two boys belong (one each) to the two ladies. Mario (on the left) is an old friend from when I worked in Zenica (we used to run the home group together, and he was for a while in the worship band I led, until we worked out that he couldn't really keep a beat - and he played the drums!). He is now part of the eldership (they don't have a pastor) of the Zenica Baptist church. All in all it was long and busy weekend, but fun as well... now I am off to bed!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Photos on the wall...

I have been meaning to do up the one photo board I have on the wall as it had LOT of photos on it and it was just too busy. I wanted one with just a few photos on it. Here it is on the right - the other two photos are of my nephew, James (my sister Astrid's son) in a field of buttercups, and my brother Kevin and his firstborn Luke on the beach. I love both of those photos - as they look so good, but they are of family too.Anyway, tonight Ljilja and I wanted to do something relaxing, so I finally got around to fixing up the photoboard. I decided to make it with just friends - and that from South Africa... I think it turned out pretty well...
Thanks to the ladies who came from Indiana for the crafty materials and inspiration!!!
(ps Jana can you recognise this frame - it was the one your folks gave me for my first birthday in Bosnia from IKEA)
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