1 June 2000

I didnít sleep much the night before we took the bus to sarajevo. I donít know what exactly I was so stressed about, but I was. I was concerned about the border crossing. Once I did wake in the morning I was clearheaded about the whole thing and felt fine. The crossing turned out to be less eventful than I could have imagined. I didnít even see a bosnian border guard. We didnít even get stamps in our passports! It was quite disappointing in that respect. I am happy that we werenít harassed or anything though.

The bus went through mostar. It was one of the hotspots during the war here. It shows. I think it would be a very interesting place to see, but I am glad we came straight to sarajevo.

Sarajevo. Where to beginÖ

Imagine a city deep in the green hills, in a river valley that is shaped more like a bowl. Imagine a city at the meeting place of east and west, and I donít mean just europe. Most people here are muslim. There are tons of mosques. There are also catholic, protestant, and orthodox churches. It is quite diverse. It is a very unique place. Now you add in a 4 year siege that only ended 5 years ago. You cannot forget that when you look at the place. Imagine bullet holes in almost every building faÁade. Imagine apartment buildings standing like skeletons. Imagine holes in the pavement that look like splashed water. It is hard to imagine.

I am ashamed to say that at first I was fascinated by the signs of war. It was beyond my comprehension. It still is, but now that it has sunk in, I hate those signs. I donít want to see them. I have no choice, but more importantly, neither do the people who live here.

It is an intense place to be.

One of the most notable things about the place is the number of very young children. There are lots and they are happy and energetic. There is a lot of hope in that. Things are getting better here it appears. Progress is slow however.

after the feelings of astonishment and shame, we began to feel inspired. it was like the croatian 13 yr olds told me: people are happier now. who could be happier than people who have known war and now live without war? we were inspired by human strength. it was an amazing experience.

© Copyright Cheryln Crowl 2000