That was the sign-off for my last blog.
Well this is what I woke up to…..
Good morning, snowy Sarajevo!
A snow storm in May?!? Yep. Good thing nothing can dampen my group’s spirit. With smiles on our faces, we trekked through the 6 inches of icy snow and sleet and explored the city until we couldn’t feel our hands or feet. For me, my exposed toes barely covered by chacos and socks were quickly frozen.
This was our first day with Humanity in Action. We met with international judge, Philip Weiner, who tries war crimes and criminals involved with former Yugoslavia.
It was overwhelming to say the least. And at the risk of writing a blog ten pages long, I’ll give the highlights and hope that my classmates will further explain the conversation to you when we return.
Essentially, Bosnia is one of the most corrupt places in the world. Yes, the war is technically over, but education, politicians, and the government are all enslaved to bribery, organized crime, and outdated information. Being an education major, I found it horrendous that the schools are segregated by ethnicity and nationality here much like the segregation that occurred in America in the 60′s.
For about an hour and a half we were hit with facts and stories about the shadiness of Bosnia, and I know that it weighed on us all heavily. I constantly thought to myself, “What can I as an American college student do with all of this?” The problems are so big, and I’m so small compared to it.
However, the fact that we are now informed about all of the injustice, I think we have a responsibility to learn more and to share what we learn. Nothing will get better if we continue to accept that this isn’t something we need to worry about because we are comfortable in America.
Actually, many of the issues in Bosnia are also going on in America- we just fail to recognize them. I’m not writing this trying to place blame because I’m as guilty as anyone else, but it calls for us to become proactive.
And as we all realized today, the biggest thing we can do is learn. If we learn as much as we can about the issues not only in Bosnia but also in the world at large, we’ll be much more prepared to face them and work on solving them.
Overall (for Bosnia), Judge Weiner still held out hope. His highest hopes were for more aggressive prosecution as well as education reform.
Again, I know this sounds like a heavy day, and it was, but it’s an amazing experience to be apart of.
After our time at Humanity in Action and attempting to traverse downtown Sarajevo in little more that jeans and t-shirts, all seven of us fell victim to a four hour nap.
It was actually like a cute little sleepover because all the girls slept in one room while the boys slept in another. Then, the real fun came when we woke up.
Absolutely no one wanted to go outside. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s dark. No way were we going to even try. Then, this thought crossed our minds, “Do they deliver pizza in Bosnia?”
Yes, they do.
Pizza that was soon followed by hot chocolate
Forget partying it up downtown with the locals, we made our hotel our castle for the night, got in our pajamas, and ordered pizza and hot chocolate. So what if that makes us seven-year-olds? Even Dr. Royden and Anna joined us, and it made for some extreme JBIP bonding time.
I wouldn’t change this trip for the world,