Trip to Kosovo
Jun 14th, 2009 by ron


We have had another amazing week to say the least.  I keep wondering when we will run out of things to say but not this week!  We spent the first part of the week in Kosovo.  When we arrived in Mitrovica, a region in Kosovo, Ron was very ill to say the least.  Those of you who know him very well will understand, he gets like this sometimes when we travel.  We went straight to our hotel and put him to bed and I headed off with the Red Cross.  (They are the ones who took us to Kosovo to see what we might do to help some of the people there.)  Since Ron was so sick, it was up to me to go alone with them.  They took me to meet a family who had lost their home due to conflicts in their region.  Their home had been burned and so they moved in with his parents who lived next door.  Their living conditions were less than desirable.  They cooked on an old wood burning stove in the burned out home.

From there we went to visit a Gypsy family with four children. The father has no job and it is so hard for a Gypsy to get work.  Their home was neat and clean and the children were sweet and polite.  We also visited a modular hospital / clinic that had no water while we were there.  Those who control the water system turn it off quite frequently and there isn’t anything they can do but sit and wait for it to be turned back on.  They also have their power shut off quite frequently, but have a backup generator to take up the slack. 

I forgot to take the camera with me when I left so have no pictures to document this first day on the road.

When I got back to the hotel at 8:30 pm Ron was still really sick.  I didn’t know what to do so I asked him if he wanted me to say a prayer.  There are no members of the church here to give him a blessing, so I knelt down and said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to please bless him. Within 15 minutes he perked up and wanted something to eat.  Another one of those miracles that keep happening for us over here.

On Tuesday morning Ron woke up feeling well and cheery and never felt sick again for the rest of the trip and we have pictures to document the rest of the week!

Picture #3.  This was a resettlement house in a small Serbian Enclave where the Serb Government is rebuilding small 800 Sq. Ft. homes for the Serbs who left Kosovo in 2004.  Their homes were destroyed by the Albanians and so the gov. is rebuilding them a small home so that they can return.  While we were at the resettlement, the Secretary of the Interior for the Serbian section was there in that very house.  Italian military vehicles were outside and the soldiers had their weapons drawn.  They were there to protect the Secretary.  He walked out of the house in front of us, climbed in a military hummer and they escorted him to safer ground.

#7.  This is a small enclave of 35 homes and families.  They own 1000 acres of land together and do all of the farming with just 1 small tractor and a few farming implements.  They are hardworking and industrious and all work together on the farm and share in the profits of this.  We would like to help them with some small tools to help their work along.

 We will make application and see what happens.  We don’t make the final decisions as to who we help.  We find the people and apply and then our team in Germany and Salt Lake make the final decisions.

#4.  We visited a Monastery that was built in the 1400’s.  It was being guarded by the Italian Troops stationed in Kosovo.  (They posed for a picture from those dumb Americans!)  We are amazed that things like Ancient Churches and Monasteries have to be guarded by military but conflicts still occur in this region and they love to destroy Christian Religious sites as the Kosovoan’s are Moslem.   Ron took a picture of the soldiers around their guard shack and they were less than amused.  They headed toward him with their guns drawn.

#6.  This is on the grounds of the Monastery with one of the Monks who live and work there.  They were so nice to us.  The Serbian Orthodox church on the grounds of the Monastery was really neat.  It had beautiful Fresco paintings on all of the walls and ceilings.  It is amazing that they could survive since the 1400’s.    In this picture are Me, Ron, one of the Monks, and Dragica, the lady from the Red Cross.

#8.  These are the Red Cross from Belgrade and from Mitrovisa, Kosovo.  They paid for all of our expenses for the trip and presented us with identical books about the history of the Serbs in this region. 

#9.These people are from the Red Cross in Nis, Serbia.  They have been wonderful  to us.  We were in Nis on Wednesday and went with them to their mountain lodge and retreat.  They served us a lovely 5 course meal on the veranda overlooking the tall pines.  The setting was beautiful and the food very good.  They are in hopes that we can help finance 50 Kosovo children to be able to come to summer camp for a week at this lodge.

There is a very old Monastery near the lodge where we met this cute little Sister Nun.  This Monastery used to be for women and has changed to Monks but two older nuns will be allowed to live out the rest of their days here at this monastery.  She was so kind as to let us take her picture!

As we were driving away from the lodge we passed this oak tree that is over 1000 years old.  The center of the tree is gone,  I could actually stand inside the center of the tree and look up and see the sky but the bark is keeping the tree alive.  It was so amazing. (Picture #11)

There are many green markets around Belgrade where the local farmers come to sell their produce and eggs and other things.  We like to go to them as the produce is so fresh and less expensive.  Ron took my picture while I was buying peaches for Sunday dinner-peaches and cream!

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa