Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Taste of Bajram

    So this is a week overdue, but I feel it's necessary to tell you about Eid/Bajram/end of Ramadan :)

    Last Saturday evening, was the big celebration of Bajram, which is the celebration of the end of Ramadan which is a 40 day fast. What happens, is everyone goes out and it's a big party all over the city. Restaurants serve traditional meals, stores stay open late, and then you spend plenty of time with family and friends for the next three days.
     On Saturday evening, Helena, Anna, myself, and Emma went out for dinner with Selma and Luljeta (our coordinators) and we were all allowed to bring a member of our host family. We met down in Bascarsija, by the Sebilj which is a kind of well and if you drink from it, it means you will return to Sarajevo.

    After we all drank from the Sebilj, we headed to the restaurant where our feast began! Instead of describing every piece of food, how good it was, or how I couldn't finish it all, I'll just show you pictures of the deliciousness known as BOSNIAN CUISINE!

Topa! You dip your bread in it. 
A chicken soup with cream and vegetables

PITA (cheese, meet, and broccoli)

Stuffed pepper and meat

Broiled apple, stuffed with walnuts, topped with syrup and whipped cream.
    It was all delicious and so much fun hanging out with everyone. When our meal was finished, we headed out for coffee (of course) and spent the next couple hours talking and sipping away. All in all it was a fabulous night with amazing food and lovely company.

    On to other news because I haven't written in a week:

    Interviews: Since we've arrived, we've had four. Two for a news station, one for a news article, and the last for the US Embassy! I feel like a celebrity having all these interviews and it's been a lot of fun. I've also noticed I've mentioned that I love their food in every single one of them...
US Embassy Interview

    Volunteering: We volunteered at a Senior Retirement center, which pretty much meant us making food for a bunch of people! We fried up vegetables like tempura, which resulted in fingers covered in egg, flour, and bread crumbs, and the delicious smell of fried food following us around all day. We will also be volunteering at a youth center and an orphanage in the near future. Volunteering was a lot of fun though, and the elderly people definitely enjoyed seeing young girls cooking them food and attempting to speak Bosnian.

    American Embassy: We went yesterday and it was great! Very educational and the people did their best to explain what is happening in Bosnia and the relations between the US and BiH. They also have an amazing secret room which we were privileged to go into :)

    Sarajevo: We had a tour of Sarajevo where we got an excellent look at the diversity of the city. We went up to the ruins from when the Turks kept the city walled and the view was incredible
We visited a Serb-Orthodox church, a mosque, a synagog, and a cathedral and all were absolutely gorgeous places and I so much enjoyed that (very hot, but worth it) day!
    On a separate day, we went to this beautiful area with waterfalls and it was buried right in the mountains

    What I've Noticed:

  1. Men wear man purses. Actually it's a satchel. Like Indiana Jones. It's cool. :)
  2. From 8 in the morning to 8 at night, it can reach up to 110ºF or 45ºC
  3. Houses do not have air-conditioning.
  4. Seedless fruits do not exist.
  5. Bosnians like to have tapestries all over their floor. And they are beautiful!
  6. Coffee is a daily ritual that cannot go unbroken. YOU MUST HAVE COFFEE.
  7. I have mentioned that I love their food in all four of our interviews.
  8. Walking in heels on cobblestones is actually possible. Painful, but possible.
  9. Sunsets here are gorgeous.
  10. I can hail a taxi like a pro.
  11. I cannot figure out the tram/trolley/bus.
  12. I missed peanut butter, reusable water bottles, and Chapstick more than I thought I would.
  13. Bosnian classes are killing me, but that second when I speak Bosnian I feel super proud of myself.
    Anyway, I better go to bed. Going shopping tomorrow! Whoop whoop!

    Until hopefully not to long from now so I don't forget things I've done,

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