Balkan War

Turkish breakfast, baklava, tanks, tunnels.  The biggest surprise visiting Bosnia was how interested Jake and Eli were in the history of the Balkan War.  I don’t think either Mike or I were expecting that.  Europe is full of so many teaching moments.

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This history is so relevant to the stage in life we’re in right now, where the kids are learning to use words to communicate, to get along with others and to solve problems.  They’re being taught compassion and kindness in school, and how it feels to hurt, or to help.  War seems real when you see bullet holes and old shelled buildings, or see where snipers stood to hunt their targets.  The sidewalks were scattered with the scars of Sarajevo Roses, next to churches and in front of the mall.

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In Vienna we visited the War Museum, where the kids saw the car Franz Ferdinand was riding in when he was shot.  Mike set off the alarm when he leaned forward to see the hole.  The kids remember that!  Now we are here in Sarajevo, where that actually happened.

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Outside of town is the Tunnel of Hope.  The Bosnian Army used it as a way to bring supplies into Sarajevo, and as a result the battle against Serbia that was supposed to have ended in days, ended up lasting four years.  What a story of determination!  What a story of hope.  The boys were really interested in that too.

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Remnants of the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics were also all over the city.   How cool to be running down the boblsed run!  Also how sort of sad, that something so symbolic of strength and world unity turned into this?

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This part of the trip was not easy.  Roads that should have existed did not, and some roads that did exist were literally dirt paths through cornfields.  Are we going the right way?  Can we buy gas here?

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Eli:  “I don’t want to take the road less taken, I just want to go the way everyone else is going!”

The boys were good sports.  Lots of music, James Bond discussions, and games of 20 Questions.   Does olive oil come from pressing the olive, or from pressing the seed?  We thought it was from the olive, but doesn’t sunflower oil come from the seeds?

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Who said the Road Not Taken was easy?  I guess that’s the point.

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