Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Ahh, why did I not tell them that? "

One of my favorite authors of all time is the woman who wrote, “The Secret Garden and A Little Princess”. Those childhood nuggets of literary ecstasy kept me up in the great walnut tree in front of our house for hours. It was my reading place, high in the sky among the leaves where I could hide and stay away from the world until either my conscience got to me, the book ended or mother called from the front door. She knew where I hid but never gave me up. Not until I got in trouble for throwing green walnuts at the post man did she ever scold me for climbing the tree. I devoured books like a starving child, one after another and they nourished my imagination, my vocabulary, and my soul. I especially loved “The Secret Garden and A Little Princess”. The author of these two works wrote something that I happened upon this week. And I couldn’t help but be impressed with how very true it was about any story that is told. She wrote:

“I do not know whether many people realize how much more than is ever written there really is in a story- how many parts of it are never told- how much more really happened than there is in the book (or blog) one holds in one’s hand and pores over. Stories are something like letters. When a letter is written, how often one remembers things omitted and says: ‘Ah, why did I not tell them that?’ In writing a book one relates all that one remembers at the time, and if one told all that really happened perhaps the book would never end. Between the lines of every story there is another story, and that is one that is never heard and can only be guessed at by the people who are good at guessing. The person who writes the story may never know all of it, but sometimes he does and wishes he had the chance to begin again.”

Frances H. Burnett

How many times as I start a new blog post do I say to myself, “well, do I write about this that happened? Or do I go this direction and write about this experience? Knowing full well that either direction I go I cannot fully give you, my readers, anything but a small glimpse of the amazing life experiences that we are having here in Croatia and Bosnia. I realize that if I attempted to tell you everything, it would be a book, and cease to be a simple blog. So with that being said, my decision of the day is to post as many pictures as blogger would let me and try to give you an idea of what we have been up to the last few weeks. A picture is worth a thousand words, not sure where that came from, but I'm pretty sure it's true!

In August we had our short term water specialist came from Arizona. We visited our little Muslim Village to check on how the water project was going an this is some of the activity that we saw going on.

We bought the pipe to get the project moving, it had been in limbo for about 3 years for lack of funds. The largest city close to this village agreed to supply the labor and equipment if we would get the materials.

This pipe will hook up the villiage to the city water supply which is clean and tested on a regular basis. In the background you can see a Muslim cemetary and Mosque.

It's very important to do two things while engaged in a water project. 1. Stand out in the middle of the street with city officials and discuss important issues. And....

2. Look into and inspect what is down in man holes.

After all that discussion, lunch was in order so we went to a near by city for lunch. Elder Petersen and Predrag were pouring over plans for our other water project that we are going to submit this week. Their conversation was halarious!
Elder Petersen: " I understand these drawings, but I can't read a thing they say"
Our Translator Predrag: " I can read every thing they say, but I don't understand the drawings at all!"
Perfect team! What do you think?

I found a place to swing in shade. See how much I contribute to this mission??

This water project is just outside Banja Luka, they would like us to help them hook up to the Banja Luka sewer system. The city can't afford the hook-up costs and it impacts the students that go to the school below. When it rains all the children are sent home because the septic system can't support the use. Clean water project???? This is the leach field, it goes down hill and pollutes the small creek that runs at the bottom of the hill and also into the yards of the homes below. Clean water? Sewer? According to Elder Petersen they go hand in hand.

This is the school that is closed when it rains.

As a side note, when we questioned the school principle what would be done with the field that the leach lines are on if the project was approved we got the following response: “We would make a play area/park for the children that would be a memorial park that would commemorate the 52 children that were killed from our school during WW2. During that war, the Nazi’s allied with our government. One day they came into our school, separated the Jewish, Roma, Muslim and Croatian children from the other Bosnian children. They took them to another part of the school and bludgeoned and stabbed them while the other children heard the terrified screams for help.  A total of 52 children never returned to their parents that day. It is a sad part of our schools history, one that we would like to remember with honor the lives that were lost.”  We were struck by his sincerity and awed that after over 60 years the pain of that day was evident in his face.

We took a preparation day and went to the coast of Croatia, Pula with our short term specialists.
This is on the Adriatic Sea.

They were building a ship. Pretty cool.

We went on a boat ride that included lunch. It looked pretty yucky, but if you got over the eyes staring at you, it was really very tasty.

A still functional light house.

This is a roman coliseum, it’s a bit smaller I understand than the one in Rome. But much more complete. They still use it for concerts. The guy in the striped shirt in the corner of the picture was quietly talking to his wife and all of the sudden Jim tapped him on the shoulder and started talking to him in some strange language I didn't understand at all! When did he start speaking in tongues??  It was Finish!!!! He recognized what language they were speaking and just chimed in. How funny is that? A Finn in Croatia, speaking to an American that knows Finish. What are we doing in Croatia and not Finland? At least one of us would know the language.

It was really pretty amazing. They said it was in use during the time of Christ.

Our water specialist, from Arizona, Elder and Sister Petersen

Underneath the coliseum floor there was this huge cave dug out. This was a press of some kind. I can't remember what for, Olives?

Pottery that they have reclaimed, they said they were for olive oil. That's why I wondered if the press was for olives?

A cart to deliver stuff. This space was also where they kept the animals that were used in the coliseum. Horses and Lions??? They also brought the dead and wounded down here. It was a long day for us, but we haven't been to the coast our whole mission so this was a real treat!

No comments: