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Bosnia Presentations
January 10th, 2010 by ron

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We have had such a busy week.   The Serbians celebrate Christmas on January 7 which is according to the ancient Greek calendar.   We were interested in their customs, one of which is a custom observed with the members of the Serbian Orthodox Church.  On Christmas Eve the male head of household goes out into the forest and cuts dry oak branches with leaves and brings them home.  In the late evening, the family takes the oak branches to the church where they are blessed by the priest and then burned on a big bonfire. Note:  There aren’t any forests close to Belgrade and so peasants from the country side were selling oak branches on the streets.  They were everywhere.

Pic #1.  The oak branch bonfire at the Serbian Orthodox  (Sava) Temple near our flat.  It was raining cars and dogs and the wind was blowing but people were out in mass to perform their Christmas Eve ritual!

#2.  The Sava Temple on Christmas Eve.

#3.  On Thursday we traveled to Sarajevo, Bosnia and back to Tuzla, Bosnia.  We have a neat translator in Bosnia.  His name is Nermin.  He reminds us so much of our Nikola who translates for us in Serbia!  We gave Nermin a Book of Mormon.  He was happy to get it.

#4.  On Friday we participated in a Wheelchair Presentation in Tuzla.  Latter-day Saint Charities donated the chairs through the Red Cross.  The Red Cross is so important to the process because they get the chairs through customs and do all of the distributions to the recipients of the chairs.  This pic is of Ron and I and our wonderful Red Cross Leaders.

#5.  This young girl was so happy to receive her own chair and her parents were so appreciative.

#6.  Igor was such a cute young man who spoke really good English!  We had such a fun time talking to him and he enjoyed practicing his English on us!

#7.  This man really had a great need for a wheelchair.

#8.  This cute little girl had a lot of physical problems.  It is so great to be able to help her.

#9.  This is the home of one of our recipients.

#10,11,12.   More happy recipients!

#13.  The truckload of 250 wheelchairs arrived in a huge snowstorm and had to be unloaded and distributed.

#14.  We had a presentation ceremony on Friday morning, Jan. 7 in Tuzla.  It is great because the media comes and films it all to show on the nightly news and in the local newspapers.

#15.  In the afternoon we had another presentation ceremony in Kalesija, Bosnia of a greenhouse.  We presented the greenhouse to an agricultural high school.  The students will grow vegetables in the greenhouse and donate the produce to the Red Cross who will in turn use it in their Soup Kitchen.  Soup Kitchens are really important here as there are so many people who do not have an income.

#16.  Ron and I with our new friends.  They are the suppliers of the greenhouse and are really great people.  The people on the right are Amir and his wife Deanna and their Uncle on the right.

#17.  These are the students who will be growing the vegetables.  They were out for winter holiday (they are muslims and so don’t celebrate Christmas).  They came back to the school during their holiday for the presentation ceremony.


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