Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New car smell....yummm!

After months of anticipation, we did it; we finally got a new car! It's beautiful! It was a little hard to part with our old faithful, but oh boy, do we love the new car smell!!! It was painful to take it to Bosnia this last week and see it get all bugged! We paid a little neighbor boy to wash it for us and as soon as he finished, it rained. Just enough to get it all spotted, but at least the bugs were off, until we drove back to Croatia. We can't win, can we?? Our little friend in Bosnia might really like us by the end of this summer. Getting it registered and insured was two whole days of red tape and frustration, especially for our friends the Robinsons, who are the office couple. What a nightmare! But we finally accomplished the deed and drove off with a whole new appreciation for the new car dealers in America that just take care of that stuff for you and then you go pick up the new plates at the dealer!

Ater two days! Yeah! Our car was registered...Now to go show the insurance people and get the Licence Plates and the papers to get us across the Bosnian Boarder.

Can you tell that Jim just puts up with me and the camera? Elder Robinson was a trooper. He came from Slovenia two days in a row to get this done. He was pretty happy to get it finished!

While Jim was putting the plates on a guy from the insurance agency came running out. Evidently, THEY are the ones who are suppose to do that. NOW someone wants to help us!

We had our visiting authority come to Banja Luka to visit. Elder Wondra and his wife came and visited with us, Ed Rowe and our little Tadic family. We had a wonderful visit with the Tadic's and they moved up their baptism date to the 5th of June. Ed Rowe, the current group leader, is expected in Provo on the 19th which was their previous date, so they moved it up a bit to accommodate his schedule. He really wanted to be there for the occasion so we were so happy to see that happen!

This is our little family that is getting baptized on June 5th. Every one except little Tina, she isn't old enough, but she will get a childs blessing on the same day.

 Our teenage kids who will be attending EFY in Germany the last part of July. Jim and I will be driving a van up there with our group and a few from Croatia. We love our GPS. Couldn't live without it!

Jim checking out the map and drawings of the water project in Liskovac, Bosnia.  We might need a short term water specialist on board for this one.

Just an example of one of the houses that would benefit from the water project in Liskovac.

A Mosque in the villiage of Liskovac.

This last week we visited a little village in Bosnia by the boarder of Croatia. We met with the city government and hope to put together a water project for them. They are a little village of about 1,000 people, mostly Muslim, who left, or fled for their lives, when the war started. They are starting to return, but there is no infrastructure for water. They have wells in their front yards and septic in the back yards. This evidently is not a good thing. The city of Gradiska, has water for them, but they can't afford the pipes to bring it into their little town. We feel like it's a pretty straight forward project and hope to get the ball running on it soon. The city people were so kind; of course we told them that we couldn't make any promises, but that we would try. One of the men said, "It doesn't matter, we appreciate you coming out here and visiting us. Even if it doesn't work, to know that you care is wonderful". They we so grateful, just for our visit. We so hope we can make it work for them. Jim is on his computer right now working on it, do you see who does all the work around here?

We also went and visited our first agricultural project this week. We were so pleased. Here is a copy of the short e-mail that I sent to our short term specialist in Salt Lake:
Dear Elder and Sister Cullimore,
We just got back from Karlovac and thought I'd give you a little up date. We met with the Branch President and the sister that owns the land. She signed the contract and was pleased to get the money. We felt a little bad about it however, because she immediately put it into two envelopes. One for her tithing. And one for the government. The tax on the land was 1,000 Kuna a year! She had about 1,200 kuna left over. Divide that by 5, that's a little over $200.00. She was happy though and felt good about it. Her daughter is getting married next month and she will be able to help her a little.
The branch president had decided, because of the lateness of the year to go ahead a start the garden with people putting in what they could afford. I think he footed the loan for the land to be plowed and tilled. After fuel costs the man who did the plowing only made about 20 Kuna. They will give him vegetables, I'm sure. They have worked hard and when we went to the land we saw, corn about 5 inches tall, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, squash, watermelon, beans ...you name it, they had planted it, even little plants to keep the moles away. We were so exceptionally proud of them! They had just taken the ball and run with it!!! They have been taking water out to the site in buckets to water, so they were excited to be able to get water to it this weekend.
They were so thank-full. Our sweet little sister told us that on the first day after the ground had been plowed they all met at the land. It was decided that they should kneel and pray to thank Heavenly Father for this blessing that had come into their lives. They knelt there in the dirt as a little branch, prayed, and when it was over the Elderly Sister that you met at the meeting, picked up a handful of dirt. Kissed it and cried. We were so touched by their gratitude. If ever you feel this is not a worthwhile program, please visualize this little branch kneeling in prayer.

Thank-you for taking the time to come and help us. We never could have done it without you. Hope all is well.
Love ya, Elder and Sister Erickson

I love cut and paste, it's so much easier than retelling the story all over again! Forgive my laziness.

We also had a closing at our children’s home. We had sheets and duvet covers made for them. We also bought a ton of wood toys and puzzles and a basketball standard. Our son Rusty had sent a couple of ball hats over with our wheelchair short term specialists. And we got to give them to my adopted "Brothers". They were thrilled. One of them was sick, so he was especially happy to see me and receive his gift. Thank-you Russ! They were a hit! I'm sorry that this project is over, we don't have an excuse to go visit any more. Hummm. I'm sure I can think of something!

My adopted brothers and I at the Childrens home. They loved the hats, can you tell??

We stayed and watched them play basketball for quite a while, they loved it! They have a time that they can come to the basketball room to play, so everyone who is able and wants to can have a turn. I had wished when we saw how much fun they had that we would have bought two standards. I'm sure they could have used one outside as well.

Today we have spent most of the day in Zagreb helping one of our member families get their little girl to the hospital there. Driving in Zagreb is a night mare! It's like driving in downtown Manhattan (very narrow streets) only with tram-bys thrown in the mix and pedestrians wondering out in the middle of traffic. I was amused but not surprised today to see the dichotomy that is present in all of Croatia. A busy, metropolitan, European city. Traffic everywhere, business people, shoppers and anything else you would see in a big city. And then you see the maintenance guys, picking up garbage and sweeping with brooms that look like witches brooms, something out of the Wizard of Oz, a string tied around a bundle of sticks. I wish I would have had a camera with me. It's hard for me to describe. Maybe it's the janitor in me, but I can't help but think how inefficient they are! But I suppose they get the job done, and who am I???

Well, it's almost time for us to go to English classes, so I better get some pictures posted and get on the move on. I made cookies for them this afternoon and asked the Elders if we could learn some vocabulary words that included ingredients for cookies. Thought that might jazz things up a bit.

As always, we are grateful for all those sweet e-mails we get and keep 'em coming! We are in the habit of getting on the computer in the mornings and Jim always says, "Well, who loves you today?" It's always fun to tell him something besides, Circut City, R.C. Willeys, and Screaming Penny!

Have a great week...I know we will. Did I tell you that we Love it Here!!!!
I just read this post....sorry it's so long. Didn't mean to make it a book this week!


laurie said...

Thanks for the wonderful blog posts! I love seeing your "brothers"! It makes my heart happy!

Thomas Wright said...

Oh yes… They love the hats. It's great to see everyone happy in that place, especially in that photo where you played basketball. How long have you been serving 'em, btw?