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NRT In Kraljevo & Nis Serbia
May 26th, 2010 by ron

The past week and a half we spent on the road doing NRT programs in Southern Serbia.  It was a crazy schedule but very rewarding.  The pictures tell the story!

#1.  Dr Bennett from Farmington, Ut. and his wife Marcia came to head up the training team.  Here Dr. Bennett explains a procedure to the Dr’s and nurses.

#2.  Dr. Denton from Pocatello, Idaho came to train the Serbian Dr’s and Nurses with Dr. Bennett.  Both of our American Doctors were amazing and very qualified to do the job.  Thank you to both of them and to Marcia Bennett who is the “Nerve Center” of the whole operation.  They all give of their time and means to come to places around the world to present this program that is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

#3.  We gave a gift through Latter-day Saint Charities, to the hospital in Kraljevo.  This is the gift- a warming blanket machine that is so valuable for surgery to keep the patient warm.  In this case, babies.

#4.  Ron and I listening as they announced us are doing in at  the Awards Ceremony in Kraljevo.  They told what we are doing in Serbia and for how long we have been here and will be here.

#5.  This was the whole training team in Kraljevo.  Some were Serbian doctors and nurses who were trained by Dr. Bennett and Dr. Denton.

#6.  From Kraljevo, we drove to Nis to do another NRT training.  We took the American Doctors to see an old German Concentration Camp that is located in Nis.  It looks as though they just recently walked away from it.  The pictures on the walls in the background are of people who were killed while prisoners in this camp.  It is just the saddest thing to see but is such a part of history here. 

#7.  Barbed wire was strung on the floors so that the prisoners couldn’t lie down.  They had to stand all the time or have the torture of barbed wire poking you.  Another form of torture.

#8.  On the bright side, we continue to have beautiful produce to eat.

#9.  At the NRT trainings, we provided lunch (Rucuk) for the participants.   Serbs love meat and bread.  They call this “GRILL” because the little meats and sausages are cooked on a grill.  They serve it everywhere and if they want to give you the best they have to offer, they serve you grill.  For this reason, we served them grill!  Everyone was happy!!!!

#10.  This is our teaching team from Nis.

#11.  Ron spoke at the closing ceremonies in both Kraljevo and Nis.  He also spoke a bit to them in Serbian.  They understood him  because he explained to them what we are doing here and then he told them to applaud if they understood and they all broke out in applause and laughter!  They loved it.  Dr Bennett and Dr Denton also wore Serbian Hats in the closing ceremonies.  The local Serbians loved the gesture of good will.  The lady in the black and red blouse is our local champion doctor.  Her name is Ljiljana and she is a great lady.

#12.  The training team in Nis.

#13.  On this past Monday we met with a maternity hospital in Novi Sad.  They attended the train that we did last Nov.  They deliver around 7000 babies per year and so we presented them with an intibating manikin to help them to train all of their staff at that hospital.

#14.  Marcia and Dr. George Bennett and Ron and me outside the Maternity Hospital in Nis.  It rained the whole 2 weeks the Bennett’s were here except the last day.  This day was beautiful.

#15.  P-day in Novi Sad with Elder Jasper and Elder Knight.  The building we are stand in front of is Novi Sad’s city hall.  There is so much old, very beautiful architecture here in Serbia.  We love it!

#16.  We also visited a Pravaslav ( Serbian Orthodox) church.  It was really different from most of the Orthodox churches we see here.  This is a stained glass window in that church.  Every window was a different scene and very beautiful.

#17.  Monday was Nikola’s Dad’s Birthday.  When we took Nikola home, we took the time to wish his dad a Happy Birthday and get a photo.  In this photo are his dad Dusan Stan and his mom Mirjana ( Mira) Stan.  They are lovely people.

#18.  While we were in Nis, we went out for a stroll one nevening and happened upon these “Traditional Dancers” performing in the town square.  It was really a treat to watch them perform.  Their teacher, who made many of their costumes and taught them the dances, is a member of our church.  His name is Mica.  He is the only active member in Nis.  When he is able to come to church, he has to ride a bus to Belgrade which is a 4 hr. bus ride away.  He attends once a month and everyone is so happy when he is able to come.

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Sarajevo
May 16th, 2010 by ron

We went to Sarajevo, Bosnia this past week to organize a program that we are working on.  Along the way, through the mountains of Bosnia, traffic came to a complete stop for 30 minutes.  We learned, as we sat there, that they were clearing landmines ahead and so traffic had to wait.  There are many areas where landmines are located and so it is dangerous to go trekking off into the woods.  They are remnants of the wars in the 90’s and early 2000’s.  Bosnia is absolutely beautiful and it is such a shame that wars have polluted nature with such horrible remnants.

#1.  Waiting for traffic  to begin moving again as they clear landmines.

#2.  We saw this beautiful double rainbow in Sarajevo.

#3.  This huge cemetery is located on the hillside in Sarajevo.  Due to so many wars in this area, there are many cemeteries  just like this throughout all of Bosnia.  Half of this cemetery is Muslim (the white headstones).  The other half is Catholic and other Christian denominations.

#4.  This is the greenhouse that LDS Charities donated to the Ag. School and the Red Cross in Kalesija, Bosnia.  They are growing tomatoes to use in the Red Cross’s soup kitchen in Kalesija.  They are doing a great job!

#5.  More of the greenhouse!

#6.  Nikola Stan(our translator), Nevena Beric (another translator and a member from Belgrade), Me, Ron, Dr. & Sis Bennett from Farmington, Ut.  They are here to do a Neo-Natal Course in southern Serbia starting today, May 16.

#7.  On our way home from Sarajevo, Ron just had to stop at a roadside stand and buy some just-picked strawberries from the growers. They were delicious!  Serbia is definitely the breadbasket of Europe.

#8.  Ron took the Bennett’s to see Avala Tower on Saturday.  This is a view from the tower.

#9.  We took the Bennett’s and Dr. Denton  ( from Pocatello, Idaho- here as an instructor for the Neo-Natal training program) to the Saint Sava Temple here in Belgrade.  While we were inside the temple, a huge thunder storm hit.  It poured rain for 15-20 minutes.  Rain is expected all of this next week.

#10.  This is a view of the Belgrade walking street at Center.  Most major cities in Europe have a walking street where cars aren’t allowed and people flock to these areas.  There are sidewalk cafés and shops and ice cream vendors by the dozens.  It is a fun place to go.

We will be in southern Serbia all of this coming week to do our NRT Program.  We have been organizing it since November and now it is time to show our stuff.  We say thanks to the Bennett’s and to Dr. Denton for coming here for the week to do this program.  Because of them, babies who might not make it will have a better chance at survival. 

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AVALA Tower
May 11th, 2010 by ron

Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful moms out there.  Hope you had as nice a day as I did.

Pic #1.  We visited a beautiful park on the outskirts of Belgrade called Avala Park.  This is Ron and Mama Stan (Nikola’s mother) at the Russian Memorial in the park.  Serbia and Russia were allies during the war.

#2.  At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier also in the park.

#3.  The new Avala communications tower.  The old one was blown up by the U.S. during the war in 1995 (we think 95).

#4.  Notice the clouds.  A huge thunderstorm was brewing and hit just when we went to the top of the tower.

#5.  We paused only long enough for a photo then back down the elevator as fast as we could get there.  I have never been so scared!  The wind was blowing so hard that the tower was swaying 10-15 feet back and forth.  Rain was pouring in and lightning was flashing all around us.  Ron looked at me and said, “well, if we go, we go together!”  That was really comforting!

#6.  We left Avala and went to the hospital to see Nikola’s father.  He is in this huge hospital where he just had surgery on his broken leg—again.  He broke it 7 months ago and it wasn’t healing because it wasn’t set properly.  The bone was never lined up straight so they installed some rings around his leg with pins going into the bone and depending how they tighten the screws, it pulled the bone into alignment so that it can heal properly.  They estimate it will take 9 months in this “halo” for his leg.

#7.  On Monday, May 10, we went with the elders to help Nikola do yard work at his house.  His grass was over a foot high and so we all got together and got the job done quickly!  It was a really fun day.  This is Elder Beus. 

#8.  Elder Christiansen raking the grass.  It was too wet to use the grass catcher so they raked it all.

#9.  Elder Armstrong.

#10.  After the job was complete, a friendly game of leg wrestling took place.  Elder Beaumont, from Canada, was the winner among the young elders.  He had a match-off with Big Ron to determine the ultimate winner and we are proud to announce that BIG “D” and the U.S.A. reigned supreme once again!!!!  That will teach these young punks to mess with their elders!!!!!  (Just kidding)

#11.  Ron and our great elders sharpening the tools when the job was done.

#12.  Back row:  E. Beaumont from Canada, E. Armstrong from Taylorsville, Ut.,  Mama Stan (Nikola’s mom), Elder Beus from Wash. State, & E. Christiansen from Highland, Ut.

#13.  Nikola in his kitchen preparing pizza for us.  His Mother had prepared a beautiful banquet for us with many traditional Serbian dishes as well.  It was the perfect ending to a really great day!

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May First In Serbia
May 3rd, 2010 by ron

On Tuesday we visited a hospital for the handicapped in Southern Serbia.  It is located in the outer reaches of Serbia, back in the woods in a beautiful setting.  The residents suffer from such things as downs syndrome and cerebral palsy and other problems and range in ages from newborn until death.  Most of them have been abandoned by their families and so the hospital becomes their family.  It was a toughing experience to visit there and see what we could do to help.

1.Some if the kids and doctors at the hospital.

2.On our way back to the highway, we passed this house that was for sale.  We stopped and inquired and the selling price was 20,000 Euro.  That is about $30,000.oo US dollars.

3.On Friday we went to the Piaca ( the outdoor market).  We love to buy our fruits and vegetables there.  This sweet Baca (grandmother) was so thrilled when we asked if we could take her picture.  She was primping and arranging her scarf just right and when we were done, she gave me the biggest kiss on the cheek!  It made my day.  You will notice that she didn’t smile.  That is because she has no teeth.  That is common over here.  Most older people are missing many or all of their teeth.  Not sure why.

4.  The produce we bought.  Doesn’t it look yummy!

5.  On May 1, all of Serbia celebrates by going out for some kind of a picnic or BBQ.  We, in the Belgrade Branch did the same thing.  We went to Ada Park ( the Belgrade Sea) which is a manmade lake where everyone flocks to get away from the concrete of the city.  We BBQ’d chalape which is hamburger and soya that is highly seasoned and real tasty!  The Elders did the cooking, namely Elder Armstrong.  He did a great job and Elders Beaumont and Christiansen tended the fire.  You need to notice our grill.  It is the rack out of the oven at the church propped up on rocks with charcoals for the fire.  It worked great but wasn’t too much fun to clean.  It took me about an hour but was good as new!

6.  Annette adding tomatoes to the salad with branch members in background.

7.  Irena Mitrovic cutting bread with Sis. Sophia Maric in the background.  She remembers Matt from when he served part of his mission here in Belgrade!

8.  Branch members at the picnic. There were 32 people who came and we all had a really fun time.  Ron took baseball, bat, and mitts that he found in the garage at the church and played some American Baseball.  They don’t play baseball here and so

Ron laughed his head off watching these people play baseball for the first time in their life!  It was hilarious!

9.  Ron has made a new friend.  Her name is Sariah and she is a little doll.  She doesn’t let too many people hold her so this is amazing but she does love Bro. Densley!

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