Thursday, June 30, 2016

When good friends come to visit...

I have been friends with Dave and Sarah for over 20 years and when they lived in England for 8 years, they wanted to come visit and never did. When they went back to South Africa just over two years ago, they promised to come visit on their next trip to Europe, and this year they made good on their promise!

They are very brave bringing 4 kids to visit Bosnia, but I think I am showing them a good time: Here they are in front of the Orthodox Cathedral in Banja Luka:
It has been such fun having them here: Here we are in Krupa na Vrbasu (at the watermills, about 1/2 hour from Banja Luka). They really enjoyed the hike along the river and the adults the food at the restaurant. As it is fish with head and tail still attached, the kids not so much! But we loved it! And we found some other fun food for the kids, so they were happy...
And they also got to experience what my life can be like: when they originally contacted me I told them that this week was a quieter week and nothing much would be going on... and then I got a request from a friend of a friend who was travelling through the Balkans presenting a seminar called "Word by Heart" whether he and his friend could stay here this week and help out with whatever we are doing... So I said yes and suddenly this week got a little bit busier,,, they also came with us to Krupa, where we enjoyed getting to know them a bit better on the hike and lunch together!
As the two guys are from Brazil (Murilo, above left) and India (Avi, above right), I decided it would be great to go to the Children's Home to share about the different cultures from three counties (South Africa, India and Brazil - we just need a Russian and someone from China and we have all of the BRICS countries!). There are not many kids at the Home at the moment during the school holidays (many go to Italy, others to family members), but we still had a great time with the kids that were there.

Here we are pasting tissue paper on the Brazilian flag - we also did the Indian and South African!
Murilo from Brazil also shared about how we can fix our broken hearts...
Before we moved outside to do some loom bands in the shade, while the guys played football.
And my volunteer, Nina, could enjoy getting some cuddles from baby Rachel:
This is some of what my friend, Sarah, had to say on facebook about their experience: Belinda is an excellent tour guide! And a useful shopping companion as she can speak fluent Bosnian. Thank you Belinda for hosting us in this beautiful city! Such an interesting part of the world. We visited the orphanage this afternoon and the kids really love Belinda and they so enjoyed our visit. It is such a privilege to be here and see some of the work that Belinda does in Banja Luka. So, I know they are having a great time :)

Today we will head to the pool (it is going to be HOT) and this evening we will have a cultural evening at EKC Ihtus. And then they head out tomorrow (very sad face) It is a bit weird when my two worlds collide and people from one part of my life get to see what I do here... but it is a great weird and I am so privileged that so many of my friends and family have come to visit me here!

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