I went home to Bechtelsville for a two-week vacation; to spend Christmas and ordinary time with my family, take advantage of sunny weather to do some outdoor work(clearing my conscious of not being around to regularly care for our many gardens) and take a break from the efforts, mental strain, here of learning a language and earning a job; to recreate a workable life. That idea of being home, like simply on a vacation, was a telling revelation that I no longer "live" at 254 Anthony's Mill Rd but rather have moved away, chosing a new address and community to inhabit. Of course there is inherently a cost in such life changes and I was affected, saddened, by this new telling reality of being distanced from loved family and friends and details of life in the States that I'm so accustomed to. But related to this is the freedom of addressing these changes, steps and gains, and honestly sharing your unique story and experiences with the people around you. Even though the two weeks flew by, it was my pleasure to bask in the blessing of family and was strengthened by their constantness and concern. I brought that embodied encouragement and love back with me to Sarajevo!
In a few words I would just like to say how the past months have been and what I am looking forward to here in Bosnia, in this newest of years. The last period in Sarajevo, from mid-August to mid-December, was the longest time I spent in country and I definately put a lot of expectation on realizing important aspects of life here- improving my language ability, ironing out my working possibilities to gain some sort of income and moving ahead with friendships to gain confidants and companions. As fall lingered and finally gave way to winter, I was more and more confronted with the reality that these desires would be a long way in the making and that the entire process, call it life, would be marked by uncertainty- lack of tangible, concrete success. In this I am challenged and deal well with those demands but I am also prone to regular moments, say every 10-14 days, when that courage and commitmant fails me and I sort of crash and burn. In those moments I rashly ask myself, "what the heck am I doing here", and allow sleep, a conceeded and long session of defeat, to gently ease my body and mind back to the starting point of hard work and the daily grind. In no ways am I saying, "woe is me", but rather it is startling how difficult normal life can be...is.
I was not necessarily looking forward to coming home, displaying my battle scars instead of medals of accomplishment but I can say that the season was one of success and meaning. Still working with Mozaik, I might say that I am rounding the corner of becoming a part of their team and continue to work on a design project related to a potential development of a for-profit restaurant; for a while now having initiated efforts related to business plan development and fundraising. All of it is insanely new and over my head but in that is opportunity to learn and slowly I have found people, both inside and separate from Mozaik, who are willing to help me on this learning curve. Besides Mozaik, I have founds some income as a baby-sitter and am looking ahead, with a little planning, to gain work in the landscape/gardening/design area. It's a stretch as every aspect of work here will be different and new: types of plants, landscaping infra-structure and gardening culture. All in all, I have to give it a try and learn along the way.
So now, as January is winding down and the romance of winter and a new year wears away, I know that I am going to be in for a fight. I would love to be in touch with friends and confidants from home and as always I am free to converse.