Saturday, April 25, 2009
I also got to visit Sedija, my friend from Zenica: We met when I still couldn't speak the language and she put up with me and my little yellow dictionary - so it is really nice to be able to actually speak to her properly now!! She lives in Sarajevo now, but before the war was in Jajce, about an hour from Banja Luka. She fled from there as it was about to be occupied and her husband went back to get something from the house and was killed by the forces who had already arrived. And her house was completely destroyed. It has now, PTL, been completely rebuilt and she is able to live there over the summer months - so I look forward to going to visit her there this summer.
Here are some other random pictures from the last 10 days for your enjoyment:
Ljilja got a new bike (here with David who helped to pic it out): This hopefully means we will go riding together and take off the kilos that both of us have put on the last two years since we stopped riding as Ljilja's old bike broke.Home group at Sinisa and Olja's: Sinisa, Olja, Ivana, David and I. Bojan got lost on the way over as he had never been before and the others were ill. We still had a great time!
Motivation seminar for one of our projects, run by Olja: (who is a qualified Social Worker-she completed her degree last year - studying with two kids!)
Here is a pic of everyone: This seminar is about helping them how they can find work and be motivated to get out there and look for a job. Ljilja and I do the set-up and catering and hang out with the people at the breaks (and encourage Olja who does a great job of the actual lecturing!).
This last picture is just too cute not to put on here: Ljilja, David and I were over last night at Ivana's to play "Pictionary" (in Serbian) with her husband and his cousins. We had a fantastic time (especially as the girls won!!). I had actually forgotten how much I love playing pictionary and how bad I am at drawing!! We were playing and not really paying attention to Viktor who took his book of stickers and lay on the couch to look at them and then fell asleep:
Stickers are ALL the rage among kids here - wherever we go now the kids are all showing us their latest stickers... If you want to make a kid happy take them some stickers!!!
Hope you enjoyed a random look at some of the things that happened over the last 10 days or so!!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
First, Ivana called and asked if I wanted to come over for tea. She has been going through some hard times lately and also her eldest daughter needed somehow to get to school - so to save Ivana the trip with all the children (she has four) I offered to go over for tea and then take Arna to school on the way home. We had a great time together and I was so glad that I could go - she is alway so encouraging!!
On the way over to Ivana's, Duska from the Orphanage called me to say that they were painting their rooms today. We had offered to help when it came time for that, as it is just the kids and the teachers who are painting by themselves. I did think I would get more notice, but hey!!
Anyway, we tried rallying the troops, but no one was able to until tomorrow, and so after doing some shopping for tomorrow's seminar and to take stuff to the Orphanage as snacks for the kids (Ljilja) and finishing up one report (me), Ljilja and I went over to help them out: This is the day that they Lord has made!!
We helped them figure out how to paint the living room of their section: Here I am doing the top part of the "red" with Nemanje looking on:
Ljilja did the lion's share of the painting - after the red she did the yellow:
This is the boys carrying on in their own bedroom:
One of the teachers, Srdjan, with Nemanje
Some of us with Duska (the other teacher). Slobodan (making the horns) did a lot of painting as well:
Unfortunately we could only be there for 2-3 hours as I had to go to teach English for beginners, so we only helped with the one room, but more people will hopefully go over to help tomorrow. I had a great first class with my beginners and then really enjoyed running the English Club for students. I only got home just after 9.30 having enjoyed this day that the Lord has made!! Now I am ready for bed!!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
At 4.30 it was then time to go to the office again for my English for Beginner's Class. We finally began the classes for our one project and to start with I gave them an Entrance placement test. As we are having two levels this year, this is to put them in the correct class. We then played a game, which can be for mixed levels: as we had people who know NOTHING to people who can speak fairly fluently. I always want to start by getting to know the students a bit, and for them to get to know me and explain that we will learn English, but also hopefully have a fun time doing it. Most of the students are mothers (or fathers) of 4 or more children, so the class is a time for them to invest not only in learning English but also for them to relax and enjoy themselves!
Here are pics of them during the test:Then we set up for the Student Alpha. This week the theme was "Why did Jesus have to die?" which I think is very appropriate for Easter!! Here are most of us: And a cute pic of Ceca with Ljilja and David: We had a great time and even though I was tired I really enjoyed the evening. But I must admit when I got home at 10.30, I went STRAIGHT to bed!!
Monday, April 13, 2009
She only made one, because we didn't think they could wait for her to make for all of them. So she worked hard beforehand and made a whole lot in advance: here they are pictured on her couch (aren't they just sooo cute!):
And here I am with the teacher/carer Dushka. It is in her "family" that we have the club. There are 8 "families" in the home each with between 8-9 children. She is always happy to have us, and it is great having her around for crowd control. She has been there for 15 years and she really loves those children! What was also great to see (besides seeing all my old friends again) is that some of the English is actually sinking in. When we first started going no one could even say "Hello, my name is...." and now all of them can! And they all know "heads, shoulders, knees and toes" backwards!!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Firstly, Hot cross buns- they don't have them here and so it is something I have made most Easters since I have been here, and this year was the best yet! I used my bread maker to make the dough (oh what a great that is!) and I finally figured out the best way to make the crosses! Anyway, this represents the cross and Jesus' death.
Then I heard about something called "empty tombs" from Cindi an American friend:using marshmallows and bread dough (I actually used cinnamon roll dough - again in the bread machine) . You put the dough around the marshmallow which then melts into the dough when you bake it, leaving an "empty tomb" behind - and they are quite yummy! This represents, of course, the resurrection.
The last thing I made was scones - you can't have a High tea without scones I say! I made them heart-shaped to represent the essence of Easter "For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life" (John 3:16)
Here they are pictured below on my new African tablecloth (which I got while I was in South Africa!):
Here are most of us before we dug in:
I just love this pic of all of us: Vanja, Ceca, Aleksanda and I and of course the teddy bear:
Here are Dragana and Stasha, both looking lovely!
We had a great time and it really was a great way to spend the afternoon, and as we ate to remember what Jesus did for us 2000 years ago. Next weekend it is Orthodox Easter so I will get to celebrate again!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
As part of the project, each family is given a monthly food and hygiene package (which comes from Holland), attend a motivation course, attend business training and English classes (which is where I come in!). English will start this week and runs throughout the year. At the end of the year they write business proposals and 3 families (each year) are given a small interest-free business loan to start the business. In past years we have had a cake maker and an automechanic and a vegetable grower, amongst others, who have all been able to start a business!
We normally hand out the packages monthly and either each family comes to the office and we spend 1/2 hour-45 minutes to chat with them, or we go to their houses. However, since we were already so far behind, we decided to hand out two of the packages at the meeting this morning.
Here are some pics of some of the people with their packages from this morning:
Although it is a lot of work, I love this project because it is more than a handout, instead people are given skills and even a chance to change their lives with a small business loan!
Friday, April 10, 2009
Today I was just reflecting on the fact that it is Good Friday and then I came across the following video on a friend's blog. It really just sums up everything Jesus did for us on the cross and so I thought I would share it with you as well. (It has scenes from The Passion which can be quite gory so be warned...)
Here are the lyrics:
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
I pray that you will have a blessed Easter and be reminded of the real reason we celebrate!
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
And for us, unfortunately, complete spring cleaning will have to wait a couple of days, as my house is still surrounded by scaffolding and "majstori" (handymen) who put insulation and a new facade on the whole house - no small accomplishment when the house is 3 1/2 storeys high! Right now they are painting, (my landlady took 4 days to pick the colour and she still isn't happy - but now it is TOO LATE!) and should be finished in the next day or two - and then the clean up will begin!!
So, right now, the buds are budding, the birds are twittering, the sun is shining and I don't have to clean yet - yip, all is right with the world!
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Here is proof that he does smile - when he isn't forced to look at the camera: I really love this picture!!
We had a great lunch, a lovely time with his mom and a wonderful time playing with Vedran and his brother and two sisters: all in all a great afternoon!!
So, after watching the video which kind of tries to get people to think about what life is all about, David introduced what the Alpha course is and what it isn't...
For more information on what the Student Alpha Course is look here. It runs for the next 7 weeks and will cover themes such as "Who is Jesus?" "Why did he have to die?" etc. There is a camp at the beginning of May (which only people who have been coming regularly can attend). And as I said it is not about learning to drive an Alfa Romeo car!!
Here we are altogether:
Even though there were fewer people than we expected, we ended up hanging out for a long time - after watching another short film which David made about making the film (with outtakes and even a clip of the "revenge on the director", ie David, which the actors pulled - putting pepper in his pancake!!!). We had such a great evening that I am looking forward to the rest of the Alphas - all those who missed it didn't know what they were missing!!