Working with (International Orthodox Church Charities)
April 19th, 2009 by ron

Donation of Wheel Chairtranslatorpalictown-hall

This has been a fruitful week for us. We met with the Red Cross here in Belgrade on Tuesday and also the IOCC (International Orthodox Church Charities) about the possibility of partnering up with them to do some projects. There is such a need in Bosnia and especially Kosovo. We will meet with them again in a week or so.
We traveled to Novi Sad and gave our first wheelchair away which was an awesome experience. We made application for 250 more wheelchairs to be delivered in about 90 days and started the paperwork on 355 more all terrain chairs. That one will take a few months to complete. From there we went to Sremska Mitrovica and met with the director of a hospital. He was very nice and helpful and has high regards for the church as we have partnered up with them before and donated other things out 5 years ago. He showed us around his hospital including the children’s ward, the newborn nursery, the new mothers ward where the new moms were in bed nursing their new babies. I’m sure they were thrilled to have a bunch of strangers walk in on them. It was really hot in the new mothers room, no ventilation and the sun beating through the windows with no coverings and flies buzzing around. It was actually really clean looking, however, they still sterilize stainless steel needles with steam sterilizers and they have no blood analyzer in this hospital. It was like going back to the 50’s. We are hoping to get a Neo-Natal Resusitation program going with this hospital for them to teach the nurses, doctors and midwives in the surrounding areas as well as their own. The director seemed favorable to being a part of that program.
On Friday we took some personal time (A P-day) and took the train to Subotica. It is a quaint smaller town near the Hungarian border. It was a 3 hr. train ride away. I wasn’t feeling too well, have bronchitis, and so I slept most of the way. I had gotten a z-pack before we left so I just needed time to recoup. We got a beautiful hotel room that would rival the best rooms in the US and very reasonable. a young man that we had met in Belgrade showed us to our hotel and then to the main square of the city. From there we walked around a bit, found a nice little restaurant where we had a steak sandwich complete with tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded cabbage and onion on the largest bun you will ever find but it was so delicious. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we hadn’t eaten for about 8 hours! We walked around a little more in the rain (I had an umbrella) then walked back to our hotel and I was in bed for the night by 5:00pm. By the next morning I felt some better and due to the fact that the sun was shining, I would make anyone feel better. We ate breakfast at the hotel- the 6th floor overlooking the city, then took a taxi to Palic Lake and the Palic Zoo where you get up close and personal with the animals. The lake was a beautiful setting but a little green. We rented a side-by-side bicycle built for two- or three and peddled around the lake. It was fun. We then took a taxi back to town, Met with Ivan and took him to lunch,(we had Barek and didn’t like it all) picked up our bags at the hotel and walked back to the train station for our 3 hour ride back to Belgrade. We both really enjoyed our ride this time, me because I felt better and could stay awake and Ron because he could sit back and enjoy the country side and the many rolling farms as we rolled through the countryside.
Today was the Orthodox Easter. They don’t celebrate the traditional Christian Easter. We went to church this morning. They held Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School and then everyone went upstairs to the outreach center where they served lunch. They had the tables set so beautifully with hand decorated easter eggs and pretty centerpiece with eggs hanging from it and pretty colored napkins. First everyone took an egg and cracked it on their neighbors egg to see who’s would crack first. After everyone’s egg was cracked and eaten, they server Hungarian Goolosh. It is a pile of mashed potatoes smothered with meat in a gravy that reminded me of beef stew minus the vegetables. There was plenty of french bread to sop up all the gravy. It was really tasty but I miss the vegetables that we are used to at home. Then they server a traditional Serbian cake that was a yellow sponge cake with three layers of putting topped with a nice layer of whipped cream. They don’t spare the calories and these people are not fat. After we hand washed all the dishes we were happy to celebrate Easter in the Serbian Manner. Tonight at 10:00 the Orthodox Church set off fireworks from their cathedrial that is just up the street. It rivaled Stadium of Fire at BYU!

2 Responses  
  • Mike and Cassie Christiansen writes:
    April 21st, 20093:29 amat

    Dear Bro. and Sis. Densley,
    I hope you don’t mind us writing, but while looking up information on Serbia I came across your blog. It was wonderful to see pictures and hear about Serbia! My son, Elder Marc Christiansen, just arrived in Serbia a couple of weeks ago. He is serving in Pancevo with Elder Knight. You were in Pancevo a week or two before our son arrived. Some of your pictures were of the things he wrote about in his emails. It was really fun to see those places! What a great work this is! About 8 years ago Bro. and Sis. Merle Broadbent served there as Humanitarian missionaries and they still keep in contact with some of the people that they worked with. I am sure they would love to hear from you. If you’d like, e-mail me and I can forward it on to them. I know you are busy and your time is limited. Just know that we appreciate knowing you are there along with the elders that are serving in Serbia. Hopefully, you will get a chance to meet Marc (Elder Christiansen).

  • Cindy Larkin writes:
    April 21st, 20092:58 pmat

    It sounds lik you had a great week! I love the architechure of the old buildings. I think your hotel sounded like a great get-a-way, and a trainride would be so much fun! I’ll bet it was great to experience their Easter traditions too. Sounds like things are going very well.

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