Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I was tagged on my friend LeAnne's blog- this is what it says that I have to do:
Once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 random things, facts, goals, or habits about yourself. At the end, choose anyone you think may answer - to be tagged, listing their names & why you chose them. You can’t tag a person who has tagged you.

1. I drink a lot of tea. Black tea with milk and sugar. Teabags imported from England or South Africa because the ones here are just crap. I drink far too much, but I don't drink coffee so it is my substitute. I even carry my own tea bags and get people to make it for me when I visit them:-)

2. I love watching crime series on TV. CSI, Crossing Jordan, Bones, Law and Order, etc.

3. I aim to read through the Bible in a year this year. I haven't ever done it in a year before - I always start and then give up. I started in January and have kept up. Enjoying it so far. Am in 1 Samuel in the Old Testament and Luke in the New.

4. I want to learn how to play more Bosnian popular songs on the guitar so I can play at parties - Bosnians love to sing and it is very frustrating at times to be able to play the guitar, but not know their songs so I can be a part of the fun.

5. I love trying new recipes. I made Cornish pasties for the first time last week- they turned out great! will have to make them again.

6. I need to lose weight (again). I lost 27kgs 4 years ago and kept it off for 2, but have put almost 1/2 of it on again over the last year and a half...

7. In May I am traveling to two countries for the first time: Serbia and Slovakia. Both for conferences. That will make 25 countries that I have been to in my life.

8. One of the things that I can do that most people can't is put my whole fist in my mouth. Some of you have seen a demonstration... I guess having a big mouth is good for something.

9. I lived in the same neighbourhood in Cape Town - two houses two streets apart - for the first 21 years of my life. Since then this house is the longest I have been in one place - 4 1/2 years.

10. Last but not least: My greatest goal in life is to know God more and more every day and get better at making Him known to others.

Now to tag other people: The problem with tagging is that I need to tag people who read this blog but that have their own blog - which isn't a lot of people...

Ok: Nicole Masureik (because she doesn't have much else to be doing other than blogging right now, in between working full time and raising a toddler :-)
Jeff Warner (because he hasn't updated his blog in over a year - it is about time Jeff!)
David Symon (because I would be interested in finding out 10 random things about him)

I hope you enjoyed reading this - I certainly enjoyed doing it!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Igor and Sofija and the orphanage kids...

So, last night some of the English Club and I went as usual to the orphanage to play games to teach English. This week we played a special game for Easter as it is Orthodox Easter this weekend (the Orthodox church uses a different calendar from the Western Churches) and we had fun. Above is Igor playing with his group and below, Sofija with her group.
After this game we played "Simon says" which is their favourite game (especially as the winner gets a little prize) which I normally lead at the end each week. It is a great way for them to learn commands and body vocabulary in English. This week I discovered the bliss of teaching the command "be quiet". Because of course if Simon says "be quiet" those that talk are out of the game... It is a GREAT!!! Why didn't I think of it before??

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Kumski project

Today I went visiting with Ljilja to some of the kids from Fida's sponsorship project. Miika and Mirjam are here with Fida which is a Finnish organisation. Ljilja has been working with them since September last year. Each month the kids are visited by a worker from Fida (Ljilja) and a volunteer (me in this case) and given something that they needed (the parents say what to buy in advance). This month: school stuff! Here I am with Bojana and her sister Kristina.And here is Ljilja with Slavisa:
The project is called "Kumski" instead of "sponsorship" as it is much nicer to say that they have a "Kum" or "Godparent" in Finland than a "sponsor" - it seems like a nicer relationship. So far there are 10 children in the program - in first or second grade - and their "Kums" will sponsor them throughout their primary schooling.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Coffee with Dejan...

Ljilja and I just got back from having coffee with Dejan. He is a great guy who we love hanging out with - but we don't get to do it enough! After trying for a month to get together, we almost didn't get to do it, because the forecast said it would rain - and it looked like it would really storm the whole afternoon. And then the rain came at about 6pm, (making the temp fall from about 25 to about 15degC in about 1/2 hour) and left within 10 minutes!!! So we got to go after all at 8pm, and we had a great time!

We went to what has become our favourite coffee place - La Delicia- where they even have proper English in a teapot (and even a decaf version I discovered tonight!) which is extremely rare - this is the only place I have found so far in Banja Luka...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pim the Dutchie

This week I got to be the guide, translator, hostess, etc to Pim, a 22 year old intern from Holland with Dorcas Aid who is doing research for them on small and medium size businesses, the problems they encounter and the best way to help them do better here in Bosnia.

Sinisa was supposed to be looking after him on Wednesday and I was taking him on Thursday as he couldn't. However, his really good friend passed away on Tuesday and the funeral was on Wednesday in a town 3 hours away, so he was otherwise engaged and so I took him on Wednesday as well. So, in between the other stuff I normally do, I took him around town and to some friends who have small businesses to get him some of the interviews he needed. We also went to the Chamber of Commerce and all the people we needed to talk to were not there, so he will have to do all that over email.

Sinisa did go with him (and I organised a translator for them from my English Club - thanks Milan!) to two businesses on Thursday while I was teaching English at the orphanage.

It was interesting for me to see how well I could translate into Serbian including lots of business language and economic stuff - I surprised myself at how well I did - although sometimes I didn't know some of the terms and had to explain things, but I always managed to figure out a way to get what he wanted to ask across...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

English Class Photos

Here are some pictures from tonight's beginner's English class. I have such fun with them and they are doing so well (so far anyway!!)

Here is the whole class:
This is Zelka, Amira, Mirela and Mirema:Anita, Ceca, Sandra and Stana:
Me with Bozena and Tanja:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Car stuff

I went today to have my oil changed and also to try and fix a weird sound that I have been hearing for a while. I love my mechanic because I go there and say "there is a weird sound" and he doesn't look at me like I am a total weirdo, but takes me seriously and checks it out and figures out what it is!! And he fixed it all up for me! (and I don't even know what it was... something to do with the shocks or the axle...)

Now the other reason I like him is because he always gets one of his workers to back out the (long thin) driveway (I hate reversing - Ljilja always does it) when I go by myself - without asking. I think it might be because one time I backed out and took about 1/2 an hour - so he doesn't want a repeat!

And what I most like about him is the fact that he is very reliable and he DOESN'T overcharge!!

Glad you asked...

We started the first Glad you asked last night. Glad you ask is a course (similar to the Alpha course) which explores spiritual questions through discussion in a relaxed atmosphere. It explores questions like "Does God matter?" and "Can the Bible be trusted?". We had a small group - just 5 of us - for the beginning, but it was really good - we watch a DVD and then answer questions and it is just really interesting stuff...

We are of course hoping that more people will come as each time stands on its own so you can come to one or to all it doesn't matter. We are running it this time in English but it is busy being translated and so in the future it will be possible to run it in the local language...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sarajevo and Janice and Schengen visa...

I just got back from a great weekend trip to Sarajevo to visit and hang out with Janice. I wanted to visit her before she left (she leaves in 2 weeks :-( to go eventually to work in Israel and I am soooo going to miss her). I also went to hand in the stuff for my Schengen visa for Slovakia (so I can go to the YWAM CE leader's consulation and CE area conference) and to collect the DVD for "Glad you asked" which we will be starting on Wednesday night with members of our English Club.

I successfully handed in everything for the visa in the end - I had to get the guarantee letter certified at the Bosnian Chamber for Foreign Trade and at first it looked as if they wouldn't be able to to it for me as I am not a Bosnian citizen, but luckily they managed to do it. When I was at the Slovakian embassy, I didn't have the correct amount in Euros so I didn't pay (She very kindly said I can pay when I collect it). Later the (very nice) lady at the embassy called me to tell me that in fact it wasn't 35Euros (about $55/R442) as she had originally said, but 60Euros (about $95/R750) as I am not a Bosnian. The 35Euros is for Bosnians only. I was a little shocked as even 35Euros is pretty steep, but what can I do? It is too late now - I really want to go to the conference so I will have to just pay the cost. But this is just getting ridiculous!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

English Club and the Orphanage with pics!!

So, it is Thursday- that means English at Dom "Rade Vranjesevic" (the orphanage in Banja Luka) with the English Club. Tonight it was just Lea, Milan, Ceca and myself, and we had a good time. Here is Milan playing "Go Fish" with Mladenka and Maja. Here I am with my group, also playing "Go Fish". The lady on the left is Duska - the teacher who looks after the kids in this group. The little boy looking at the camera is Momir and he is 10 years old and a complete honey-pie.
This is Ceca and her group. Standing is Goran who is 13. Sitting is Momirka and Maja.
Ceca and Maja.
Milan and Nemanje (cuuuuuute!)
We will be going each Thursday and playing games using English and spending time with these great kids!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Dragana got all of us well this morning. She sent a message to tell Ljilja that she had broken her leg... we (Sinisa, Miika, Sergej, Ljilja and I) were in our meeting and we all thought "oh no, how horrible". Ljilja immediately went to phone her and she said "duso moja, pa kako?" ("oh, my sweet girl, how?") and Dragana replied "lako, prvi je April" ("it was easy... it is the first of April!!!!".) She was doing this to everyone the whole morning apparently... but one good thing is that she saw how much people love her by the reactions... however, she did make some people angry!!! (her mother put the phone down on her!!) But all in the name of "Aprilili"!!!

Happy April Fool's day...
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