Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Slovenes are here!

A team of 10 from Slovenia along with 4 others from the US, Canada and UK are here for four days. They arrived last night and this morning was spent in a bit of orientation and then I sent them out on a scavenger hunt around Banja Luka (which they really got into!) while I went to the police to register them.

Then after lunch it was time to go hang out at the children's home. It helps a LOT that their language is very similar to the local language, and some of them even speak Serbian/Croatian so we had a lot of fun with them at the Home...  We started inside with some drawing, but as it was SUCH a lovely day we decided to go outside to play. Here we are playing a version of "duck duck goose"
Most of the older kids preferred to play football/soccer and it was a very intense game!
At the end it was time for stuck in the mud.  In between they also played a lot of other games, but I didn't get pictures of all of them...
As it was actually quite hot once we were tired out from the games, we came inside and did some origami...
And the team entertained us with some songs with actions:
Which were actually quite fun to do :)
As you can see, they are a great team and so far it has been fun having them here... tonight they are with our youth group (and I am having a break) and tomorrow we will go up the hill for a picnic with our sponsorship children - let's hope the good weather continues!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What goes around comes around...

This week there has been a lot going on here in Banja Luka - my colleague, David, has people from Czech, Serbia and Sarajevo here to help with two speakers who were here to present on topics "Science and God" and "Integrity in the modern world". I have been helping out where I can and enjoying hanging out with everyone :)

In the midst of this craziness, we had our first Book Club for this term: and as usual at the beginning of the term we decided to do something fun with them and they will work on their books next week. Even though we decided to do something fun, I wanted to do something at least associated with reading/books and so went to one of Aesop's Fables  "The Lion and the Mouse"...

A Lion was awakened from his sleep by a Mouse running over his face.  Rising up angrily, he caught him and was about to kill him, when the Mouse begged him, saying: "If you would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your kindness."

The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him that he laughed and let him go.  Shortly after this the Lion was caught by hunter, who bound him with ropes to a tree.  The Mouse, recognizing his roar, came gnawed the rope with his teeth, and set him free, exclaimed:

"You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you,  expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favor.  Now you know that it is possible for even a mouse to help a lion.

Moral: No act of kindness, however small is ever wasted. 
In Serbian the moral is "dobro se dobrim vraća" - literally "good begets good" or "what goes around comes around"

And the fun? Making masks of Lions and Mice... soooooo much fun!!

We started with David (another one!) reading out the story in Serbian for the kids...
And then it was time to make the masks with the help of our wonderful volunteers... Here is Nada with Z in her Lion mask:
Here is Jelena playing the Lion with D showing her funny Mickey Mouse mask:
 Here are M and G being a bigger mouse than Lion :)
And a very cute Mouse K:
I found this naughty Lion M hiding behind the couch :)
And here are most of us - the volunteers borrowed the masks from some of the kids who had made two: As you can see we had a LOT of fun!
And we will reiterate the lesson next week that "dobro se dobrim vraća" ("what goes around, comes around") as that is something that everyone needs to learn! 

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Easter at the Children's Home

Every Easter we try to do something fun with the kids which will help them celebrate the Easter season properly, and also give them something fun to do during the school holidays. This year we had three activities for them...

First: Mosaic Crosses:
I asked them why we were making crosses for Easter... and it took them a while to get it!
But they did get it eventually: without the Cross on the Friday we can't have the resurrection on the Sunday!
Here is B with her painstakingly made and beautiful cross:
Next it was an egg basket: Here they are colouring in my badly drawn basket...
Each child coloured in at least one egg, some of them a few more - to fill our basket up with lots of lovely eggs for Easter. It says "Christ is Risen! Risen Indeed!"
And the last activity was bunny baskets from paper plates... the bunnies are actually little baskets and as they left I put marshmallow Easter eggs (imported from South Africa!) and other chocolate goodies for them to enjoy!! 
There were more kids that came and went throughout the two hours we were there, and I think everyone had a great time, including us volunteers :) Thanks to them and especially to Tanja for helping to organise the activities and Trevor and Carol for the paper for the mosaic crosses - we still have lots left, so more fun to come!! 

Booklook review: A Thing of Beauty

I just finished reading "A Thing of Beauty" by Lisa Samson and even though I really did enjoy reading it, I didn't feel like it had much of a point. The story kept my attention and was interesting, but I kept thinking "where is this going?" or "I hope this is going somewhere" and the ending didn't really get there for me.

The story is about former child star Fiona Hume who left show-business a decade ago. She left because of a drug problem and after leaving rehab, she retreated to Baltimore and bought an old downtown mansion with the idea of restoring it into a masterpiece and possibly creating an artist's studio for herself.

She has filled the mansion with loads of projects and accumulated things to make something out of, but not actually finishing any of those projects... just slowly becoming a hoarder. She realises that she is running out of money and so gets a boarder, Josiah, who is supposed to stay completely out of her life... but doesn't!

You will have to read the rest of the story to find out what happens, and maybe it will speak more to you than it did to me.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own
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