Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas and New Year's Eve on Balkan

Although sun is shining brightly here for the last 4-5 days and I don't need warm jacket outside, the Christmas feeling is here!

Tomorrow, on the Catholic/Protestant Christmas Eve I am going to the family of Ante, one team-mate of mine who was so glad to invite me to spend Christmas together with his family. It will be in Sinj, a small town 20-30 km away from Split. I am grateful to him, because otherwise I would spend Christmas alone in my dormitory room :)

It reminds me the situation of 2 years ago, when I was studying in Germany and also could not go home for Christmas due to lack of money. My course-mate Chris from UK invited me to his family in Germany. It was very nice experience then...

And I have great plan for the New Year's Eve! I am going to spend it together with the friend Jaan who is coming to visit me from Estonia. Since last year we have tradition with Jaan to spend New Year's Eve together somewhere abroad. Last year we were in Vilnius, Lithuania.

This year we are going to Serbia. AIESEC in Novi Sad (in Vojvodina which is North of Serbia) is organizing big party with around 300-400 people. We are also going through Belgrade and Sarajevo in Bosnia&Herzegovina. I met some few Serbs when I was intern in Berlin this summer. Also I know some cool AIESEC people from Serbia because of EuroCo, international conference, held in Split in October. I have never been to Serbia. So, it will be definetely fun! :)

I wish all of those who are reading my posting peaceful Christmas time and new year full of events, happenings, people around you and most important - full of fullfilment of your dreams!
And one more thing - just here in Croatia I discovered how sexy I am actually ;) Take a look on the picture. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"Watch out who are you sleeping with"

The sentence in the title of this posting is the name of one song popular here in Balkan. It is energetic and nice song. I learnt it and have been extremely popular while singing it on Croatian National Conference of AIESEC last week :) One can see me on the picture while I am singing...

I recently got two letters from my mom. "Deniss, come home" - was the main point of boith of them, although she wrote about many other things as well, of course. I want to go home, but my Croatian dream is not over yet, thus I am staying, experiencing the warmest winter in my life... I will see the real snow and feel the real cold again in the end of January when I will be back to Estonia.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Remains of the war in Balkan

I have not updated my blog for a long time.

The main reason is that I am not able to use computer in the evenings and I have lot of other things to do during the day. Besides, there is so much interesting happening, so many great people around that I don't want to spend my time in the front of computer. Also, I am using my free time in internet for talking to friends, reading the newspapers from Estonia etc.

My work in AIESEC is still very interesting. One of the reasons is that I am about to launch one interesting and ambitious project (for AIESECars - P-Box) connected with the tourism. Split has a great potential for development of tourism and this area is constantly growing. I have met already with some important people who are dealing with that (president of Split Tourism Board, director of big hotel) and we are in the stage of developing.

Soooooo many people ask me all the time: "Deniss, when are you going home and don't you want to stay longer?". I have been proposed to work longer in AIESEC Croatia and eventually go to some higher position here...

Anyway, my home, my family, my friends, speaking Estonian and Russian languages - that all and many other things are calling me back home.

Tonight I am going for the national conference of AIESEC in Croatia for 5 days and it will be my first AIESEC conference held in hotel.

Remains of the war in Balkan

Croatia has been in the world news last few days. Ante Gotovina, Croatian general from the time of the civil war in 1991-1995 who is suspended for the war crimes during this time, was captured after 3-4 years being in run. He was the one leading Croatian troops against local Serbs.

International community treats him as war criminal. Majority of Croatians treat him as their national hero who saved independence of the country.

There was around 60.000 people in the centre of Split participating in demonstration for support of Ante Gotovina. Many of them are the ones, whose house was destroyed, relatives were killed, injured or were forced to emigrate around 10-15 years ago. Those people still don't even want to speak to any Serb or to read anything written in Cyrillic (Serbs use Cyrillic instead of Latin).

On Sunday I was in Mostar, second-largest town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was heavily bombarded and was seized many times by different sides during the civil war. It is beautiful town with the world-known Old Bridge, the wonder of European architecture. The bridge was destroyed as well. Last year it was finally rebuilt as well as many houses in the town.

Still, there are many houses in ruins and about half of the ones preserved are with wholes from the bullets, grenades, mines etc. When we wanted to take a look on Mostar from the hill above it, there was a road to the hill. But this road did not have destination. On one point there was just big shield: "Attention! There is the landmines' field in the front".

But the remains of the war are even bigger inside of people. Mostar is divided into two parts by the river - Muslim part and Catholic part. Although these people speak the same language the wound of the war are so strong (when Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox were fighting with each other) that they prefer not to enter another part of the town...
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