It’s less than a week until I leave for Bosna i Hercegovina (BiH), the heart-shaped country. The country, still recovering from the war in the 1990’s, is situated in the Balkans between Serbia and Croatia. I’ll introduce the country’s history more as this blog continues, as its rich and complex history has greatly impacted the current situation in BiH.
Unfortunately, it seems current information about BiH is not accurate or widely known. Some of the questions I was asked when I told family and friends my summer plans were, “Isn’t there, like, a war there?” “But you’ll have NO internet (gasp!).” “Is there even an airport or a train station?”
The questions were endless, but I could answer some questions: the war ended over a decade ago; I will have internet, but maybe not wireless everywhere I go; and yes, there are both an airport and train stations.
But I couldn’t get too angry with my very concerned family and friends, because the truth is: I didn’t know much about BiH before I started researching online and in the library. So, hopefully this blog will not only be a vehicle to tell the story of the women I will meet and the current situation in BiH, but also a resource for readers to understand how and why BiH is in their current situation.
The situation of the women I’ll be getting to know this summer is not a good one. My goal through this blog is to tell their story as best I can and without sugar coating. Don’t get me wrong, I am optimistic about my fellowship and my work with BOSFAM, but the reality of this situation is that these women, who have suffered the loss of their homes, possessions, and most devastatingly, many of their male relatives-even their sons.
Their story must be told and more importantly, people must listen. My goal is to bring awareness to their situation and move readers of this blog to-if not action-a greater understanding of the importance of advocating for disempowered communities. I am very excited to continue updating this blog on a regular basis and I hope you enjoy reading it.
Posted By Kelsey Bristow
Posted May 27th, 2009