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Southern Serbia
March 6th, 2010 by ron

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This was a very busy week of important events.   We drove to southern Serbia to buy seeds for the greenhouses that we have donated to schools in Leskovac & Prokuplija.  Pic’s 1 & 2are at the seed supplier.  The lady standing with us is the principal/director of the Leskovac Agricultural School.  The man near the right at the rear is the representative for the school in Prokuplija.

#3,4,5 are in Nis, Serbia.  We spent the night there and strolled through the city square where we met some pretty hard characters!!!!!

On Wed. we were still in Southern Serbia and had a little time on our hands so we visited a place called Rebarska Banja.  Banja means SPA in Serbian and so we thought we were really going to relax and enjoy.  We couldn’t believe that a night’s stay including meals was so cheap.  Cheaper than any hotel we have stayed in so far.  When we got there, we figured out that it was actually a state run hospital for physical therapy!   We figured out that it must have been built in the 40’s.  Need we say more!?!

The nicest thing they had going was the mineral water pools.  We got into our bathing suits and went to the pools only to find that they were closed.  They closed 10 minutes before we got there.  For those of you who really know Ron, there is always a way around things so he went to the front desk and talked to a lady there and before we knew it, we were swimming and soaking in the warm mineral baths all by ourselves!

The setting for the hospital was very beautiful.  It is up in the mountains with fresh water springs coming out of the mountains everywhere.  #9 is the courtyard at Rebarska Banja.

#10.  The very tall structure is an elevator to the dormatories further up the hill.  The stairs are pretty steep and no matter where you stay there you have to deal with many stairs.

#11.  On Thursday we did the signing of the contract for the Cicevac Water Project.  Latter-day Saint Charities is donating pipe for the final 10 phases of the project that will bring fresh water into the homes of over 12,000 people.  This children’s choir sang at the contract signing ceremony.  It was held in the city theater with many residents attending.

#12.  Ron had to give a speech about what we do as humanitarian missionaries and he told how members of our church donate money specifically for humanitarian and that all of the money donated is actually used for humanitarian.  No salaries are taken out of that money that is donated because we are all volunteers.  The mayor and the people said to be sure that we thank our members for their great support.  Without our help, it could be another 20 years before this project would be completed but with our help, it should be finished the end of 2011.

#13The mayor and Ron signing the contract for the water project.

#14.The lady speaking is our friend.  Her name is Dragica and she is one of the head persons for the Red Cross in Serbia.  She and her colleague Branislav are responsible for hooking us up with Cicevac.  They are GREAT people.

#14.  Dragica, Mayor Zlatan and Ron.

#15.  Ron and the Mayor making statements to the press after the contract signing ceremony.

#16.  The lady on the left is a volunteer for the Red Cross, Me, Ron, Dragica, Mayor Zlatan, Branislav (standing slightly behind the mayor) A Red Cross volunteer, and Slavica, our friend in the Cicevac Red Cross office.  These people all played an important roll in helping us get through red tape and understand what needed to be done for the project.

We woke up on Saturday to snow again.  Late spring and early winter are so cold over here.  We look forward to welcoming spring sometime in the future.  It can’t come soon enough for us.

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