Friday, November 2, 2007

Greetings from Bosnia & Hercegovina!


How did I get here, you might ask? Well, quite literally, it was a crazy journey from Seattle to Chicago, to Galway (Ireland), to Dubrovnik (Croatia), to Serbia & Montenegro, and finally here. Trust me when I say my return journey was just as long!

Over the next few weeks I'll be posting stories from all of the above-mentioned places, but thought I'd start here.

Not many people I know (Americans in particular) have been to Bosnia & Hercegovina. The images we receive from our national media do not portray such a nice place. I would like to share with you what myself, and my sisters who travelled with me, experienced on our trip.

First of all, yes...there are visible signs of recent warfare. Bullet-strewn buildings and blown up bridges are still in a state of disrepair. On the market streets you can buy an interesting array of war-time paraphernalia. However, the country has done much to re-build and grow, and it truly is a beautiful place.

Scars from bullets during the war of the 1990s.

The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was formed after the break-up of the former socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and following the wars that took place from 1992 to 1995 among Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs. The country was devastated by three years of violent inter-ethnic fighting.

With aid from the international community, major reconstruction has taken place since the advent of peace in 1995, and despite the problems it continues to face, Bosnia is generally considered a post-conflict success story.

In 2005, The Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar made it onto the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Mostar’s Bridge Over the Neretva:
A Muslim and Croat symbol of reconciliation

We should all take the time to learn about, and learn from, the history of this fascinating place. And most of all, to not forget.

Piece of shrapnel on a simple memorial.

Adventure on, with an educated mind and respect,


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