Sunday, October 25, 2009

Winter is on its way...

Last night the clocks went back an hour (Daylight savings: spring forward, fall back) which suddenly makes the days very short (it is now pitch dark at 5.30 and it is only downhill from here!)...

The first sign that winter is on its way is on the 15th of September when the happy yellow corn-on-the cob street-sellers turn into black-clad roast chestnut sellers. Not that I am sad when I see them, as I happen to like roast chestnut: but when you first see them, you KNOW that winter is definitely on its way!!

And then of course the leaves start falling of the trees... Now, the Croatian name for October is "Listopad" which means "leaves falling" and is about the only Croatian month I can with accuracy remember (the Bosnian/Serbian names are similar to ours - October is "Octobar" for instance - so they are easy!) because of the association. But I like it for being so descriptive... This year we have had a mild autumn (PTL!) and so the leaves are still coming off the trees. Here is a pic from the beginning of October and one from two days ago:


And we are still waiting for the first snow fall...:-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good times, good views, good friends...

So, I spent 10 days in Budapest, in meetings mostly (Communications Workshop followed by meetings with people working in YWAM Communications), on a boat on the river Danube. I did get to do some sightseeing which was nice: Here are some photos (and spot the arty pic of the parliament, I did learn something about photography on the workshop!) The others were taken on our "sightseeing trip": more about that later on...


Every day in the Communication meetings we would see this strange sight: A bus on the river, this pic from the "Boatel":

And here it is from the other side of the river with the Fortuna "Boatel" (where we stayed) in the background:

When we found out that it was an ACTUAL bus, that does tours firstly of the city on land and then enters the water, we just had to do it. So, on our last day after everyone else had left, Rob (who heads YWAM communications worldwide), Bec and I managed to talk Carmelita (aka "the boss lady") into going with us on the tour: Here are Rob and Carmelita (and Bec in the bus) about to get on the bus and the bus on the road:

It was a great tour of the city and then we entered the water - what a great: here is a little video!
video
It was a great experience: I still can't believe we were on the "bus/boat"!! (for those who have seen Rob Bell's "everything is spiritual": Is it a bus? Is it a boat? "yip")

Afterwards, Carmelita left us and we met up with Stephanie and Paul who work in Bucharest, Romania for Indian (had to be done for Rob!): And a lovely pic of Bec, Rob and I:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

YWAM Effective Communications Workshop

Here are some pics of all of us: We have lectures/small groups/practical times/etc. People have come from all over Central Europe to join in the fun...

We are in the "Pub" in the bowels of the boat on the river Danube (it used to be the Engine room) which is an interesting location - especially for those that are VERY TALL. We are learning all about communication: including writing, design, photography and web design... and all sorts of ways to communicate more effectively...

Budapest!!!

I arrived late on Wednesday and am enjoying staying again on the Fortuna boat, a "boatel" on the river Danube. I arrived early, along with Rebecca from the Czech Republic, to help with the set-up for the 3-day YWAM Effective Communication Workshop which started on Saturday night. We were quite busy setting stuff up, so not much time for sight-seeing!

Thursday night Carmelita - otherwise known as "the boss lady" - invited me and Rebecca over for cake: Rebecca and I are the communications team for YWAM in Central Europe and Carmelita is the Regional Leader for Central Europe in YWAM, so she literally is "the boss lady"!! We had a great time hanging out with her. I like my organisation - it is all about relationship: not hierarchical!!On the way there and back we had to take tram 2. Hungarian is a really difficult language to learn because it looks like you should be able to read it, but you can't really:
And these are some of the photos taken from the tram on the way there or back, so prrrrrrty:

Then on Friday night the rest of the facilitators/teachers arrived and we went out for a late dinner:Deb, Rob and I with the Little Princess Statue on the Danube Corso:
Trying to figure out where we are going on the metro: Rodney, Rob and Rebecca:
Having figured it out: us on the second eldest metro line in the world (London was first):
Now the next post will me more on the workshop when I get more time to do it!!!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Is this October??

Here the weather has been incredible for this time of year... Usually it has been raining for weeks (mom can testify!) and my landlady has already started heating... instead we are still walking around in short sleeves!

Here is a picture of my little corner of peace, taken this morning. I sit on the balcony and enjoy this view (and read my bible and pray) almost every morning: usually just during the summer months...
And as you can see the flowers are still going! Usually we have to take them down mid-September... The ONLY indication that it will be time for the clocks to turn back in a couple of weeks is the slightly yellow trees (they were the same colour as the other two).

So, so far we are still happy to be using leg/bike power to get everywhere! Still waiting to see what is going to happen about getting a car before winter really sets in!!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Business Training Graduation

In July we held 4 sessions of Business Training with Laura from South Africa. Since a lot of people go away in August we decided to do the graduation in September. This last week we held the "ceremony": 15 people graduated, here are Jasna and Bilja getting their certificates:
Along with the Certificate, the graduates of the training also got the Dorcas Aid business plan forms which they will have a month to put their plans onto the plan with our help... The forms are then translated into English (by moi!) and sent to Holland to be evaluated. The best 3 plans will be given an interest-free loans of 5000KM (2500Euro/R30 000) to start their business. We have given loans out in the past 2 years to start a vegetable garden, buy scaffolding and to buy a fridge for a cake making business amongst other things... it is great to be able to help people to help themselves!
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