Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Birthday in Bosnia!!!!

    I had a great Birthday in Bosnia! Who ever would have thought that I would celebrate my 58th birthday in such a far away place? We had an appointment in  a little town called Prijedor, about an hour away from Banja Luka to go see a hospital that had sent doctors to the NRT training. They were so happy to see us! I was touched by how  excited and proud they were to give us a tour of their facility. My favorite place to see was the  "Baby Box"  That's what they call the nursery. Each little exam room was labeled , Box 1 or  Box 2. So just think. Instead of decorating the can say, "Well, I'm going to go in and finish painting the baby box...or on Sunday, you can say, "Honey, you take (insert child's name) to the baby box for me, I need to get to my SS class as fast as I can."  For some strange reason, I just LOVED  the name! What's funny is it's ENGLISH !!!!!  They told us that since the November training they have saved the lives of about 7 babies, using the training and equipment that they received. The two doctors that took the training, have now trained all the staff that has anything to do with deliveries, also the emergency room and the doctors and nurses up in the pediatric department. The only reported difficulty was that the nurses here are not allowed to use a stethoscope, and using the NRT training they must use one. Because they are not accustom to using it, they are having to practice, practice and practice more. My concern is that they might give up.
We were just about to leave the hospital and one of the cute little doctors said, "Don't you want to come up to the pediatric ward to see my ultra sound machine?" So up we went .  She was just adorable! She had our translator, Predrug, shed his shirt and lay down on the table. Poor guy, he had to translate while having a gooey sensor rubbing over his upper body! She was so proud of her 10 year old ultra sound machine that a company in Germany gave them along with a EKG machine. The EKG machine has long quit working and now is garbage, but the Ultra Sound machine just keeps on purring away. She does all the Ultra Sounds herself and I was impressed with her enthusiasm and dedication for her work. She told us that she was 65, but you sure couldn't tell it from her energetic desire to serve her little patients. She asked if we could get an EKG machine for her...medical supplies are proving to be difficult for us to buy, there are no suppliers in Bosnia, so we are on the hunt. Anyone have a spare EKG machine they want to donate???  Send it this way! We know a cute doctor in Bosnia that could use it...

The three doctors in Prijedor, Jim and I and Predrag

No Computers....

Our darling friend, the pediatric cardiologist. Can you believe she's 65 ?

This is their delivery room.  The green cover is where they take the babies after delivery. This is the second hospital that has no baby warming lights for new borns that we have gone to. We are trying to find a source for them. Notice the flow chart on the wall above the baby station.  That's part of the training that they received. It was wonderful to see it on the wall.
After our appointment with the hospital, Predrag told us we were only 40 minutes away from a National Park area that he would really like for us to see. So we started up this mountain road, it reminded me of going up North Ogden Pass  to go for a picnic. When we got to the top there was a hugh WW Two
war memorial. We hiked up the muddy grass area to the top, that was fun in heels, and looked at it from close up. It was sobering to say the least. When the Germans came into Banja Luka, the patriots knew that they couldn't fight them in the city, with all their tanks, so they took the fight to the mountains. On this mountain top over 10,000 Bosnians were killed. At the end of the war, Yugoslavia and communism took over, so no religious monument was ever erected to honor them. So as soon as the break up of Yugoslavia took place and religion was once more , they had a religious memorial put up and our translator said he remembered coming up as a child with his uncle to see it put in place.  We were amazed at the 10,000 names that were on the wall. It all seemed rather cold and depressing. I couldn't help thinking of other battlegrounds, Gettysburg, Pearl harbor and so many others..  They all became sacred places and I believe that was what I was feeling. Not cold , not depressing, but sacred...10,0000 souls, fighting and dying for what they believed in. I will be happy to go back to this spot in the summer time, It will be beautiful, with the lush green of the Balkan Mountains.

World War 2 monument

It was pretty muddy, but we hiked up to it, on the right side of it, the box looking thing is where all the names are.

This is just one little section, it goes on and lists their name, the city they were from, birth and death dates.

Just when you think you're really in a modern city, you come upon something like this. We think he carries fire wood in the back of his cart.  We passed him on the way to the National Park.

Mosque near National Park

This little town was on the way to the park, Predrug told us that it was almost all Muslim, it had 4 mosques with prayer towers.

 We went out to eat at our favorite restaurant with Predrag, his girlfriend and her twin sister. I totally derailed my diet of the new year, but had a wonderful evening.
Saturday we went for a walk in down town Banja Luka and I captured this picture, I think it's my all time least for this week.

Isn't she beautiful! Oh how Heavenly Father must love her! She just melted my heart. I made Jim give her money for letting me take her picture. He gave her about $5.00. She was thrilled!

This is the rest of the story... As we walked up the stairs we noticed the cardboard she was sitting on. We see it all the time. They can't sit on a hard surface, a bench, cement , or the ground even.. It will make them sterile. So a newspaper, piece of cardboard or a paper sack will protect them from that fate. She must still be worried about it.

  I want to thank all of you who sent me birthday wishes via face book, cards and packages. I've never felt so loved! 

Okay, I have to admit, I've never waded my way through Talmage's "Jesus the Christ". So I figured that I'm a big girl now and that I should just buck up and do it.
Week 1....Chapter 1, The Introduction. Call me slow, it took me a whole week to get through it. Note to self, reading at night is NOT a good idea.
Week 2....Chapter 2, His Preexistence and Fore ordination....I did better with this chapter. No more reading when I'm tired at night.
Week 3...Finished chapter notes on Chapter two and started Chapter 3, I also got Tihana hooked on reading it with me. Our goal this week is to go back to chapters 1, 2 and Chapter notes on 2, to mark the referenced scriptures in our own scriptures. Still working on that one.
If we read it out loud, stop every sentence or two and discuss or clarify words, it seems to sink in a little bit better, At this pace, my mission will NOT be long enough for me to finish this book....But we can at least say we have tried. Jim is contributing by not laughing at our stupidity and he helps to explain the "Talmagise". Our plan is to read as we drive, Jim drives, we are on the road an awful lot and I'm getting tired of knitting scarfs, (that's all I know how to knit). I have now made three scarfs and Tihana is almost finished with her second one. For those of you who don't have a clue as to who Tihana is...She is our Croatian Translator. We also have a Bosnian Translator, Predrag.
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Weekly progress reports will be included in all blogs from here on out. Wish me luck! Any one want to join in the fun???  Love to you all....Have I told you , we love it here?



sara said...

i'm glad you had such a wonderful birthday! we love and miss you!!! (and i love that picture of the little old lady)

Kendra said...

Beautiful post. So glad you had a nice bday. Good luck with Talmadge. I tried on mission... Maybe I should try again.