Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Barbies and Lego...

On Sunday afternoon, Ljilja and Enisa (who was visiting from Sarajevo) and I went with Tanja and her two kids, Snjezana and Bojan to see the international Barbie and Lego exhibition that is in Banja Luka until tomorrow. It was pretty amazing - although I was disappointed there wasn't more Lego (there was much more Barbie than Lego). The kids (and adults) did have a fun time, as besides the displays they had games and a BIG slide... Thanks to Tanja for the photos as I didn't have my camera with me...

Here is Snjeza in front of "Wedding Barbie":
The Harley Davidson Barbie and Ken: I am not making this stuff up - that was what it said on the label! Who knew there was a dark side to the Barbster?
There really were all kinds of Barbies...
And then the Legos: Boki in front of Lego Sponge Bob and Robin Hood: 
And this one is for Dragana, who loves Penguins... isn't it cute?
As I said, I was a bit disappointed with the Legos, as there weren't that many of them: but there were plenty of Barbies, including ones from different countries: Here are Ljilja and Enisa in front of some country, not sure which one :-)
And me with the "South African Barbie":
While Boki was going on the slide a hundred times, Snjeza, Enisa and I played with some of the available Barbies:
And Tanja decided that she is actually the ultimate Barbie :-)
All in all, it was a fun way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How to make Bosnian "Pita"/Pie

Ok, so the other day I  had the opportunity to make pita with my friend, Tanja. I kind of know how it all goes, but have never done it all by myself. With her directing - actually more like happily ordering me around - and taking pictures...I found a perfect person to do this with - we had as much fun making the pita as we did doing the pictures for the "making of"!

Now, my sister said after the "Operation Ink tag removal" slide show that she always wondered who those people were who made these "How to" kind of things and now she actually is related to one... well sis, this is for you:

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Monday, November 22, 2010

so... what's up with me?

Wow, I haven't posted anything in two weeks, that is a long time for me :-) I don't have anything mind-blowing to post about now either, but I thought I would write a little something... to catch you up with what is going on with me. In case you actually care!

November is the month where the clock has changed back and everyone is adjusting to the fact that at 4.30 it is dark outside, and usually the weather is horrible (although we have been lucky, and it is only now just turning really nasty), so not much is going on which is blog-worthy! Also, I was out of it last week with some sort of tummy bug, which has finally run its course...

My meds for hypothyroidism seem to have reached their right level, yay! I am up to 2/3rd of what I would be taking if I didn't have a thyroid at all, so looking back it is amazing that I was able to function at all - or a testimony to God's faithfulness in giving me the strength I needed to get everything I needed to get done, done...

Ljilja's sister Sladjana gave us all a big scare last week as she was hospitalised with kidney problems. PTL that in the end it was "just" a kidney stone: at one stage they thought her kidneys had given in. She is doing ok now, just waiting for the stone to pass... Also PTL that they managed to sort out the insurance for her stay so she only had to pay the "participation" fee and not they whole amount (which was around 1000Euros!). Ljilja went down to Trebinje to be with her family while this was all going on, but arrived back safely last night.

I am also busy working on my Master's in Community Development. I made a survey which I sent out 10 days ago to people who have been working (or worked) in Bosnia Herzegovina in Christian Development work. It has been interesting to see what the results have been so far. I look forward to seeing what will come out of this! If you have ever worked in that field in BiH and want to be involved, let me know!

And now, I have about 3 weeks to go before I head to South Africa (yes, it is sneaking up on me too)! In that time we will be finishing off the English Classes and Alpha. I will also be handing over the Orphanage Book Club to the capable volunteers who will be running it my absence...and almost everything else that I do here can be done while I am in South Africa via skype and email or will just have to wait until I am back!!

So, in a nutshell, that is what's up with me...

Monday, November 08, 2010

Advanced English Classes

We started last week with 6 weeks of Advanced English Classes. After 5 years, H.O. "Most" English Club is no longer! We decided to change the format and have more of a "class" feel and run it for 6 week blocks at a time - so people are motivated to come each week!

We do a couple of fun games and activities each week, all with the aim of getting them to talk English! Here they are in pairs, talking about something they are "experts" in... some interesting discussions!!

After 5 years of English Club on Tuesday nights, it is different having classes on a Monday, and it is a slightly longer format - but the time goes by just as fast and it is just as fun!!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Book Club at the Orphanage...

We have been going in every other week to run a Book Club for some of the children at the orphanage. (Thanks to Tanja and Sofija who did a great job of running it while I was in England!). I keep forgetting to take my camera, but finally remembered tonight! Each of the children go to the library and choose their own book to read. We then come together and talk about the books with each other: filling out a "form" for each book: who are the main characters? where is it set? what happens? and how much do you like it?

Here is Dijana, being helped by Jovana and Suzana helping David: 
Eliska checking over Simo's form: 
We also have some younger members who love being read to: here is Tanja reading to Danijela:
 And (another) Jovana reading to Dragana:
We also do other activities: such as this week we made a chart of our favourite books to show other children in the home. Each week we have between 6-7 kids and about the same amount of volunteers, so we are usually able to give them one-on-one attention which is really great. Our aim is to give them a love for reading now, which will stand them in good stead in the future!!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Goodie burger - Bosnian style

In South Africa, there is a chain of restaurants called the "Spur" and I grew up going there with my family. I also worked there for a while when I was at University. They have one burger there called the "Goodie Burger" with cheese, pineapple and mushroom sauce: below right:

After Alpha last night, some of the leftovers came home with us, and I realised this morning that I somehow coincidentally had all the makings of a Bosnian version of the Goodie burger... Ever one to grab a chance to record my strange cross-cultural exploits for you, my reading public, I now present to you the Bosnian Goodie Burger:

Instead of the bun we have the "lepina":
The burger has been replaced by "cevapi" (granted they do have burgers here, so I could have used one of those, but beggars can't be choosers...):
Then cheese slices (this is not a "healthy Burger", but a "Goodie"!):
And pineapple: this is unusual for me to have in the house as it is quite expensive here, but it was on special and I grabbed it!!
Then some homemade mushroom sauce (I had the mushrooms leftover from another recipe I made on the weekend, and this was the only thing I actually had to make for the burger: but sauce is not hard to make.. saute onions, mushrooms, add flour and then milk, stir...piece of cake!):
Then reheat in the microwave and you there have it: A yummy Bosnian Goodie Burger! Not quite the same as what you get in the restaurant, but maybe even more yummy!

Alpha course

We started the Alpha Course last night. Alpha is a course that was started in the UK and has now been run in over 190 countries throughout the world. For more information on the course you can go here. It is great to be able to hold it here! We had a nice turnout with others saying that they will come next week. We started with a lovely dinner, and then before the talk watch the video "Bear Grylls did Alpha" because, well, people here know who he is too! (And by the by, he is coming to Bosnia to record two episodes of Ultimate Survivor!!)

One of the purposes of Alpha is to create a relaxed atmosphere where we can discover together answers to Life's questions. As part of this: I think that Ljilja did a fantastic job of the decorations, which meant people were already in a relaxed mood when they walked in the door...

The first talk was on "Christianity" and "Who is Jesus?". Below is Sinisa giving the talk: Afterwards we had good discussions over coffee and cake.
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