Thursday, August 30, 2007

5th Happy Crutch Day

This blog goes out to my good friend Heather Wonnacott. She has been walking on crutches due to health problems (that is a nice easy way to put it without going into the details) for the past 5 years. Her crutches, Handy and Andy have been her CONSTANT companions since the 28th of August 2002. So, she has created a competition to coincide with "Happy Crutch Day" where we are challenged to hop around on one foot or walk with crutches for the whole or part of the day.

So to kind of take part, as I don't have a crutch, I did find these lovely fashionable walking sticks at our local "big" shop (which is big by Banja Luka standards, but pretty normal everywhere else!). I also ran into my friend Dragana and got her in on the action (don't you love her shirt!??)

Anyway, Heather, here is to this being the last ever "Happy Crutch day"!!

Dobrodosla/Welcome!!

Ljilja's love language definitely includes a love for surprises - she always has something special prepared for me when I come home from somewhere. This time I decided to make something for her for her return on Monday. This is an old family tradition for Easter - we used to write "Happy Easter" with these little chocolates. When I was in Zenica I saw these little chocolates and decided to make this little poster for my lovely roommate! Needless to say, she really loved it!! (and we are still enjoying it...)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sarajevo, Zenica and Zagreb...

On the way back from Trebinje I stopped off for a night in Sarajevo, visiting Enisa, the leader of EUS (InterVarsity). On Saturday, we met up with Jenny and Tiffany and had a girls "afternoon" at Vrelo Bosna (the source of the Bosna River, and a very pretty place to wander around). Then "the Tiff" and I headed to Zenica where I stayed with her for 4 days, visiting old friends from when I lived there.

I took some of my butternut squash (Dragana's dad planted some seeds from SA for me in their garden and now I have plenty of butternut - something that you DON'T get here normally) and made it for Tiff and Jocelyn (Donovan was there too, but he doesn't do veggies!) and it turned out really GOOOD! Good times...

I drove back up to Banja Luka on Wednesday and had Thursday to catch up on mails and around the house...

Then on Friday morning I drove up to Zagreb (2 1/2 hours) with Dragana as company to pick up Lea, who is coming to work with the Finnish family working in Banja Luka. Dragana and I went into the city and met up with my friend, Jasna, and we had a great day - from McDonalds (there is NO McDonalds in Bosnia, the last country in Europe without it!!) to great Vincek IceCream and Fornetti (really great little pastries, also only to be found in Croatia). At 8pm we headed to the airport to get Lea and then drove back - getting back around 12pm!

Today I took Lea around Banja Luka and sorted out some things for her, remembering fondly how people like Rod and Jo did that for me in Zenica and Mary here in Banja Luka! The Finnish family arrived back today from Finland and so they came round to pick her up this afternoon to go over to stay with them...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Trebinje and Dubrovnik 2007

I spent a couple of days with Ljilja and her family last week in Trebinje. This is our friend, Maja and I on Gracanica overlooking Trebinje - this is a beautiful Orthodox church where Jovan Ducic (a famous poet from Trebinje) is buried. We went for the day to the sea near Dubrovnik, with Ljilja's younger, and completely different sister, Sladjana. Here are the two sisters together: It was a great having her with us for the day, but I realised that when you go to the beach, this is the kid of person you don't want to go with - I mean I am not that white, but next to her I am fluorescent! While we were on the beach, Sladja was followed around by this group of 5 Italians. When we went swimming they were there. We went for a walk and ooooh there they were. We got up to leave and they came over to invite her (in very bad English, of which she doesn't speak a word - so Ljilja and I were translating) to a party in THEIR ROOM. What are the chances of us letting her go?? Not good... so sadly she didn't get to go!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

GO team again

They leave tomorrow morning after a nice but HECTIC week here with us. The English Classes have been well attended with lots of new people. They have been busy painting two flats - and they finished the one really well, the less said about the other the better (luckily they had raised money for the projects they worked on so they could afford to pay for a professional to finish the job off!). As I said it was a hectic time! But PTL it worked out well in the end...

This morning I took them up to the monument on the mountain above Banja Luka to pray - here they are in front of it. Below is me with Hestor, Marijke and Sitie - some of the girls on the team.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Go Team...

We have a team of 13 young people from Holland here right now. They are aged 15 to 27, so when I say young, I mean young! The are here just for a week, and are doing various activities - including cleaning out the Fellowship building (very necessary!) to painting for two of our project families, to running an English Club for 3 days. It is great fun to have them!

Tonight and tomorrow night they have evenings with the people from our Dorcas Aid project. We had a time where we just hung out together, they made balloons for the children and we tried to find a common language (hands and feet!). Then the team introduced themselves and told a bit about Dorcas (which is a Dutch organisation!) and then did a drama where they presented the Gospel message. Here are some pics... On a side note, I started off by translating for Sinisa (see above pic) into English, which I do often and that isn't a problem for me in front of people... it was only after the team started to talk that I realised (having not thought about it!!) that I now had to translate into Serbian - which I can do, but have never done it in front of a crowd (usually do it in smaller situations). It was a good thing that I was so busy preparing for the evening that it never occurred to me that I would have to do it... and it went really well, thankfully- especially when they were explaining the drama!
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