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Bosnia And Herzegovina
Jul 25th, 2010 by ron

We spent the past week traveling in Bosnia.  We signed contracts for two water projects, visited two of our greenhouses and took a day to sightsee in Mostar, Bosnia.

#1.  This is the greenhouse that we donated to the Agricultural School/Red Cross in Kilesija, Bosnia.  The produce is donated to the needy people in the area and is distributed by the Red Cross.  It is a successful project.

#2.  More Greenhouse.

#3.  Remember the cow that we donated  to the Muslim grandmother in Bosnia?   That cow just gave birth to a beautiful baby calf!  The family was so happy.

#4.  This is her grandson.  He sat up all night with Sara the cow while she was giving birth.  He loves Sara and he is so thrilled with her baby.  The calf is 1 day old in this picture.

#5.  In this photo is the grandmother, her daughter-in-law, her 4 grandchildren, Ron & me and Nermin, our Bosnian translator. 

#6.  Ron is signing the contract on the water project for Fojnica, Bosnia.

#7.  I am putting our sticker on the greenhouse that says “Donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.  This greenhouse is in Sarajevo.

#8.  More Sarajevo Greenhouse.  Bosnia is so Beautiful!

We took Thursday afternoon of this past week and did some sightseeing.  We went to Mostar which is 167 Kilometers south of Sarajevo.  Mostar looks more like desert compared to most of Bosnia and I loved the low humidity. 

#9.   We stopped along the way to see this bridge that was blown up during the most recent war.

#10.  Bosnia is mostly Muslim.  There are many interesting masques in Bosnia.

#11.  Signs of the past wars are visible all over Mostar.

#12.  This foot bridge was blown up and destroyed during the war around 1992 or 1993.  Years later they fished the stones out of the river and reconstructed it the way it was originally built.

#13.  More masques in Mostar.  Notice the other towers in the background.  Each is another masque.

#14.  More of the bridge that was reconstructed!

#15.  “

#16.  This photo was taken from the bridge. 

#17.  Lambs on the barby.  It was really tasty!!!!

#18.  Walking through the village and marketplace in Mostar.

#19.  They eat a lot of honey in Bosnia and Serbia and it is really tasty.  This is a mobile Beehive in the mountains of Bosnia.

#20.  More Mostar!

#21.  This old village in Mostar dates back hundreds of years.

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It’s Heating up in Serbia
Jul 18th, 2010 by ron

It has really turned off to be really hot in Serbia.  Despite the heat, the work goes on.  We spent 3 days traveling to central and southern Serbia this past week with much success.

#1.  We stopped in Cicevac to see how the water project was moving along.  They will begin putting pipe in the ground in August.  They have spent the past few months getting through public procurements and other legalities and will soon begin the actual work!  The train station in Cicevac is over 100 years old and is still in operation.  Pictured here are Slavica from the Red Cross, Annette, Ron, The Mayor’s Secretary,  Red Cross Pres., and Zlatin, the mayor.

#2.  We visited a pottery shop in Cicevac.  The owner of the shop learned the trade from his dad.  He is 63.

#3.  His wood fired Kiln.

#4.  We did a Rough Rider Wheelchair Training and Presentation in Kraljevo on Friday.  Ron and Nikola did the teaching to 3 volunteers on how to prescribe, fit and adjust each wheelchair. 

#5.  What more can I say??????

#6.  Ron talking at the Rough Rider Wheelchair Presentation Ceremony on Thursday.

#7.  Ron Presented Dr. Arsic, from the Studenica Health Center,  with a certificate for his help and support.  He is a great man.

#8.  After the presentation ceremony, we visited with this nice lady in the wheelchair.  She is so happy to receive a Rough Rider wheelchair because she will finally be able to go outdoors and do things that she was limited with doing in the past.  She was so sweet and she totally made my day.  She gave me a BIG KISS right between the eyes!  The 3 men are our volunteers who will be fitting and adjusting the wheelchairs for each recipient and the lady with the certificate is Roda from the Red Cross.

#9.  This is mother and daughter.  This mother is so dedicated to taking care of her handicapped daughter who has no use of her hands, feet or legs.

#10.  On Friday we visited 3 greenhouses that we have donated to agricultural schools in Southern Serbia.  This is inside the Kraljevo Greenhouse.  You can see that these tomatoes are thriving and producing like crazy.  They had just picked the tomatoes the night before.  All of the produce is donated to the Red Cross in their city for use in their Soup Kitchens.

#11.  More!!!!!!!  Ron is now convinced that he needs a greenhouse when we get home.

#12.  They grow cucumbers the same way.

#13.  These are the kids that take care of the greenhouse gardens under the direction of the lady with the black hair and white shoes.  She really runs a tight ship!!!!

#14.  Greenhouse in Leskovac.  It is the same process as in Kraljevo and Prokuplija.

#15.  Nikola searching for ripe blackberries in Prokuplija.

#16.  You can see why Serbia is considered the “breadbasket” of central Europe.  You plant it, it will grow!

#17.  This is the Belgrade Branch Food Project for members and their friends and family.  Anyone who wants to come and work can share in the produce.

#18.  The new irrigation drip system.

#19.  Members working on the farm.

#20.  Elder Jasper hoeing weeds.  What would we do without our Elders??????????

#21.  Elder Christiansen hoeing weeds.  We love our Elders!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#22.  This is the branch’s gravity flow irrigation system.  They run the pump to fill the tank and then it is gravity flow drip system.  Pictured here, Dusan Vasica, Sis Violeta Vasica, and Suzie Vasica hiding behind the tank.  The farm is located on the Vasica property.

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Sun Flowers in Serbia
Jul 14th, 2010 by ron

 

We have had another busy week which is so normal for us.  Here are the pictures of our travels.

#1.  This is inside the pump house at the Belgrade Food Project.  Now they won’t have to water the plants by hand.

#2.  This water is from the new well that we dug.  We just got the system up and running and Big “D” is pretty happy!

#3.  Out standing in a Serbian Sunflower field.

#4.  “

#5.  Nikola and I.

#6.  Sunflowers stretch as far as the eye can see.

#7.  Beautiful!!!!!

#8.  Rajko is a refugee from Croatia.  He has a very bad heart and can’t do much manual labor.  We helped him with a multi-cultivator that he shares with his little village.  He is really appreciative of it.

#9.  Dr. Mike and his Dr. wife are from Sremska Mitrovica.  They attended our Neo-Natal Resuscitation training last Nov. and have gone on to get the program certified with the Serbian Health Ministry and are certified to teach all over Serbia.

#10.  Inside the newborn nursery in Sremska Mitrovica.

#11.  From Sremska Mitrovica we drove to Subotica.  It is a neat city near the Hungarian Border.  This is their city hall and it is a really pretty building.  Austro-Hungarian Styling.

#12.  This waterfall is located in the city square just outside the city hall.  It cost over a million dollars to build.  Each tile is custom made for this fountain.

#13.  More Subotica at night in the city square.

#14.  While in Subotica, we met with the Rehabilitation Center there.  We went to see how their EKG machine that we donated to them was working and how they like it.  We also gave them 15 wheelchairs.  The lady in the center is the Director of the facility and she cried when she said “tell the members of your church Thank You for this donation”.  THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

#15.  She and I both had a good cry together.  She is such a great lady.

#16.  This is one of our chairs being used.  Before our donation, they had only a few chairs that were in really bad repair.  There was no rubber on some of the wheels and it was painful to transport their patients in them.  They also had a shortage and had to shuffle chairs from building to building to make it work.  Now they have enough chairs and they are all brand new!

#17.  Another chair in use.  The smile tells it all!

#18.  We also drove to Sombor to visit the Orphanage that day.  We wanted to see how things are going for them.  We donated 3 sofas for their TV room.  The kids just love them and keep them covered with quilts so they won’t get dirty.  The smallest boy in this photo ran up to me when we arrived and gave me a big hug and kiss on the cheek!  They have so many needs, the most important being love and attention.

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July 4th In Serbia
Jul 7th, 2010 by ron

For the week of June 27- July 3.  We have gotten a little behind and so we are posting twice this week!

Ron and I represented the Church at the US Embassy 4th of July Party held on June 2nd.   It is held annually at the US Ambassador’s residence.  The grounds and gardens are just beautiful and are shaded by dozens of huge shade trees.  It was a very hot day but was shade trees made it enjoyable!

#1.  Ron and I with three Embassy employees  who are Americans and members of our church.

#2.  More Embassy Party photos.

#3.  It is a very high security party and everyone had to pass through metal detectors to gain entry.

#4.  This is our Branch Farm and our little green bean patch!

#5.  More Branch Farm and our squashes.

#6.  This little building is the pump house.  When it is finished, it will be finished with stucco and will look real nice.

#7.  Elder Christiansen and Elder Jasper mixing cement for the farm.

#8.  This is the new generator at the farm that will be used to power the pump.

#9.  On Saturday, July 3, we had a Hawaiian Luau for the Young Single Adults.  Here Ron is trying his best to do the hula hoop!   It was really a lot of fun.  We played some games, learned how to hula and do the hula hoop and finished off the evening with a nice dinner of Hawaiian Haystacks, Fruit Bowl and Tropical Drinks.

#10.  Some of the people who attended were Marina, Sis. Justice ,  Nevena, Lidija, and Vera.  Sis Justice is a Sr. Sister serving in Slovenia and came to Serbia with Bro. & Sis Lewis who are over YSA in Central Europe.

#11.  Elder Jasper showing everyone how it is done!!!!!

#12.  Elder Christiansen doing a good job with the hula hoop with Elder Beaumont offering a bit of advice on how it is done!

#13.  Me,Vera and liljana getting the food ready to be eaten.  It was devoured in no time.  We asked everyone how they liked it and everyone said that they did except Nikola Kovic who is the Branch Pres.  He said it’s not for him.  It needed to include bread to be acceptable in his books!!!!  We are blessed to have some really neat Young Single Adults who will be the future leaders in the church here in this region.

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Humanitarian Volunteers Projects
Jul 1st, 2010 by ron

 

In Mid June in Novi Sad, Serbia, we did a big wheelchair training and distribution.  The wheelchairs are designed for people who have lost the use of their legs but who have really good upper body strength.  We had a team of people from Utah who came to train trainers in Serbia.  They were wonderful and we sure do appreciate their dedication and service to the people around the world.  One of the trainers, Jeff Griffin, is in a wheelchair himself.  He is a wonderful example of what people can do even though they have some obstacles in their path.  Jeff is not handicapped.  He is one of the most un-handicapped people I have ever met.  Thanks to Jeff and the Jacksons, Blake Powell, Dr Marc Andersen, and Phil Arnold for taking the time and energy to come to Serbia.  You were great.

This great team trained local people how to prescribe a special wheelchair and another team to build the chair specifically for the individual.  These are special wheelchairs that can do wheelies, go up and down stairs and maneuver through rough terrain out in the country.  They are not the kind that people push them around.  They run on the upper body strength of the person using the chair.  That is why they must fit the person properly and are built to fit.  It was an amazing experience.

#23.  We went to dinner at the end of the first day to a little traditional Serbian Restaurant.  The food was good and a quaint little orchestra serenaded us throughout our meal.  Finally they came up to our table and the man playing the guitar said “you Mormons?”  We said Yes.  He said “Me Too!”  We hadn’t met him before but he was at church on Sunday.  It was only our second time to go to church at Novi Sad.

#24.  This is our entire training team, both the Utahn’s and the Serbians.  We were ALL volunteers!

#25-A.  Ron and Bro. Jackson having a wheelchair race.  Brother Jackson won by a hair but he has had more practice!

#25-B.  This man was so happy with his new chair!  He wanted to prove what he could do with his chair!  He was popping wheelies all over the place!

#26.  The Utah Training Team!

#27.  Our training team.  The 6 wearing matching long sleeved shirts all came from Utah.  Ron & me and the rest were Serbs who were translators and all members of the church.

#28.  The press conference at the end of the training which lasted for 4 days.  Ron, Nikola the translator, Pres. Hill our mission Pres, and Dr. Grebeldinger.  He is our NGO and a very good one.

#29.  We gave 10 standard wheelchairs to the Home for the Blind in Pancevo, Serbia.

#30.  We were also able to get a dry sterilizer for bandages and implements for the Home for the Blind.  It is the box on the top behind me.

#31.  This little man was so happy to meet us and to have his photo taken with us!  He really made our day!

#32.  More pics with the patients from the blind home.

#33.  Being interviewed by the press in Kulina, Serbia.  We were able to get some furnishings for an independent living apartment in Kulina.  We were able to get cabinets, 2 beds, 2 couches, wardrobe closets, table and 4 chairs and end table for the apartment..  It is a home for mentally and physically handicapped individuals who have spent their whole lives in this institution.  At the presentation they gave us flowers!

#34.  One of the young residents gave Chris and Me roses!  He was so proud and we were so thrilled to receive them.

#35.  This plaque on the wall says “Donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.

#36.  Many of the residents came out in a downpour to greet us.  It was so neat to be there.

#37. Back to Bosnia.  Ron making a deal on the trunk of a car with the head of the Bosnia Red Cross, Nikola and the City of Donji Vakuf Engineer.  The deal is for Latter-day Saint Charities to supply them with the materials they need to bring the water from a new spring into town so that they don’t run out of water in the hot summer months.

#38.  Namik, from Red Cross, Nikola and Ron near the site of their spring that will be piped into town.

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Monestary on the Hill

July in Serbia & Bonsia
Jul 1st, 2010 by ron

We didn’t write for a few weeks because our computer crashed and it took us some time to get it up and running.  Hooray, we are so happy to be connected with the outside world again!

In the past three weeks we have completed an intensive wheelchair training, done a presentation at a Blind Home, a presentation at a Home for the Mentally Challenged and visited Bosnia and two water projects that we have going there.  We also visited Banja Luka, Bosnia in hopes of setting up a Neo-natal Resuscitation Program there for November 2010.  We have had some wonderful experiences that we love to share through our photos.

#1.  This is a German Concentration Camp in Nis, Serbia during WWII.  It is as if they walked away from it yesterday.  It must have been a horrible place to be.

#2.   More of the camp.

#3.  There are some cells inside the building where they housed the prisoners.  Barbed wire is attached all over the floors of the cells.  The person or persons who were held inside these cells could not sit or lie down without barbed wire poking them.  What a terrible way to torture people.

#4.  In mid- May, we did a Neo-natal Resuscitation program in Southern Serbia.  Nevena and Nikola were our main translators.  They wanted to go out for ice cream one evening but it was too cold and they hadn’t come prepared for the cold so they borrowed Mom & Dad Densley’s coats!  Don’t they look cute!!!!

#5.  A quaint little Catholic Cathedral in Banja Luka, Serbia.

#6.  Banja Luka Fortress.

#7.  Annette and Nikola Stan, our translator, friend and Serbian Teacher.

#8.  Bosnia is one of the most beautiful places on earth but much of their trash ends up in their rivers.  This big piece of equipment is there just to scoop the trash out of the river before it passes through the turbines of a small dam.

#9.  Upstream from the dam.

#10.  We loved this quaint little Bosnian Village. 

#11.  Inside a Catholic Cathedral in Fojnica, Bosnia.

#12.  This Cathedral is located inside a Monastery in Fojnica.

#13.  On the grounds of the monastery is a really cool museum and library full of really old and rare books dating back as far as the 1400’s.  They have a section that we didn’t get to see but it houses all of the birth and death records dating back that far.

#14.  They also have old newspapers bound into books.  This newspaper was from 1945 at the end of WWII.  This article was of Teto, the former Yugoslav leader shaking hands with the Russian President for liberating Yugoslavia during WWII.

#15.  Can I say how much I dislike this picture.  You can thank Ron for the “Deer in the Headlights” photo!  He wanted to show the wild strawberries that the guys picked for me and they were delicious!  I had never had wild strawberries before.

#16.  Ron, Nikola, Namik from the Red Cross and the City of Fojnica engineer took a long hike through the wilderness to a spring in the mountains of Bosnia.  I waited at the car for their return, picking wildflowers and writing in my journal.  When they returned, about an hour later, they had picked me this beautiful bouquet of wildflowers! 

#17.  People do whatever they can to make a living.  These people cut wood in the forest and char it in big kilns to make charcoal to be used in BBQ’s.  This vehicle is called a Moto-cultivator and you see them everywhere, even in downtown Belgrade!  It is amazing how useful they are!

#18.  Nikola and me!

#19.  This is a kiln where they char the charcoal.

#20.  A close-up of a kiln.  Notice how beautiful the scenery is behind the kiln.

#21.  Ron and I looking over the city of Fojnica.

#22.  So much history is buried under Fojnica because it is such an ancient city.  These water pipes were dug up as they were working in the streets of Fojnica.  They date back to the ancient Roman era.

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