Because you need to know, Sarajevo lies along the same latitudinal line as Syracuse, NY which is 43degrees. So, maybe you can better imagine the environment and climate here…and then…know that Sarajevo is nestled among Bosnia’s Olympic mountains so there is an intensity of uncertain, wintry weather. So many people from here and home ask me about the general weather conditions so now you all know.
I am committing this blog update to the women of Fondacija Mozaik. As demanded by one colleague, I have to write a biography and include a chapter celebrating the amazing group of women that constitute Mozaik. Overall, 73% of Mozaik’s team of fifteen are women. Besides making this place a home, as only women can, they are ferocious negotiators and leaders and have each played a role in placing this NGO on Bosnia’s development map. Specifically regarding my coming into the Mozaik family, they have made me feel at home since day one and I can best describe this through discussing my recent search for an apartment.
As hopefully you know, my beautiful time spent with Haso and Sadeta in Blazuj needed to transition into a life spent in an apartment closer to Mozaik and downtown Sarajevo. I was excited for this transition and only hesitant leaving the comfort of my Blazuj home and increased financial need due to living on my own. So, all of last week I was patiently and painstakingly looking for suitable apartments, which included making frustrating calls in Bosnian and running into dead ends with too expensive or inaccessible apartments. This reached a crescendo on Friday afternoon when I came back to the Mozaik office, frustrated by the unfruitful journey. In response to this, everyone in the office started calling family and friends, looking online and in the newspaper for possible places; pursuing leads with just enough charm and determined negotiation needed in Bosnian affairs. It was quite a scene and I just went with the flow.
Just before leaving the office to check out a seemingly decent prospect, the women were all together chatting and one of Mozaik’s board members, Medina, was with the group and she flat out suggested that I live in her flat. Medina who lives in Raleigh, NC, is visiting family here in Bosnia and consulting with Mozaik and offered to let me stay there indefinitely. Amazingly, her apartment is within walking distance of our office and the city center and she is only asking for minimal rent! It also has an amazing view of Sarajevo from it’s elevated location.
Her offer was met by enthusiastic confirmation from all of our colleagues who were all guaranteeing their help in getting anything I need for Medina’s mostly unfurnished flat. For now I have an air mattress and a water-pot to make coffee and that is enough! Already, our secretary dropped off for me some sheets and a Santa mug and all else will come, in time…
I cannot explain too well how I felt leaving Medina’s, I mean “my”, apartment. I walked into town and just sighed and breathed in the air of blessing and welcomed the rest from a worried mind. This is just one more instance in my Bosnian journey when something good has come so richly and in timely fashion. Once again I can just point to the friendship and hospitality of these people here in Sarajevo. I thank God for each of them and especially these women of Mozaik who treat me so well. I hope in time I can give back even more of myself to these people and this city. For today: “Thanks”