Well, finally in Sarajevo with one day left to go. Had a pretty emotional (but good) week, so I might not have a whole lot to say right now...
Got to Sarajevo early Monday morning and hopped directly on a bus up to Vares. Got there right as school was starting, walked in, and was swarmed by kids almost immediately. The students all remembered me, and it was so amazing to see so many of many of the students I got to know and love last summer. Was a little emotionally overwhelming....
Spent the week helping out the students who are in the program this summer with their lesson plans, teaching, and classroom control (7-15 year olds are pretty wild - who knew?) and really enjoyed seeing them go through everything I remember feeling last year. Laughed a lot on the inside, but all in all, they're a good group of students and I think they'll get a lot from their experience, just as I did last year. It was really nice to be back for a number of reasons, but I think being there with another group helped me get some perspective on my own experience - I've known for the last year that it really affected me, but to see it all again... being in that community and getting to know the children at the school was truly an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful for. And to go back and be welcomed and remembered... yeah, it was a pretty good week.
Also spent a lot of time with Vjeran and Vedran, two of the locals who help out with the program that I got to know last summer, and Jo, the program coordinator that pretty much made my summer last year. It's been a really nice way to end my trip... spending time with people that I care about in a beautiful place that I've really come to love. Funny story about my last night in Vares... but not one to be posted in a public place. Call for details. :)
So back in Sarajevo again... had a fantastic dinner with Jo last night, had great conversation, and watched the parade of people on the main drag. Jo has really helped me gain some perspective on this trip as well, and I feel truly fortunate that I've gotten to spend more time with her. Planning on just walking around the city today, eating lots of gelato, having a 4th of July dinner with a few other Americans in town, and then spending my last night relaxing with Jo and the Filipovic boys. Then a 6:40 am flight tomorrow!!
While I'm excited to be going home and looking forward to all the new things happening in my life, I am definitely sad to be leaving... this month has by far been one of the best of my life. I've had fun, seen amazing things, gotten to know myself better, and created some memories that will hopefully get me through any tough times (like when the Packers & Rockies lose or Jamie drinks all the champagne.) And hell, I think I've gotten myself a non-English speaking husband out of it all!
Will post pictures soon... wish me safe travels home!