Just last week, I attended Ashoka's Youth Venture Social Entrepreneur Workshop which is a fancy title to say that I was in Washington DC for an exchange student alumni workshop for YES and YES Abroad that would give us the tools to address the social issues in our community. There I met, not only other Americans who spent a year in a foreign country, but other international students who spent their year here in the United States. It was so exciting to be surrounded by exchange students again, discussing our home countries and host countries. People from all over the world were in that little coffee colored conference room with common goals and purposes. Young adults from Asia, Africa, Europe, and America all gathered together to be the change makers in their community.
|YES and YES Abroad Alumni|
As I spent time with my new-found friends from all sorts of countries, it just made me so happy to talk about Bosnia once again in an open environment where people were excited to hear my stories and live my experiences with me, because they had gone through similar events. Lately, the most I've talked about my exchange is sneaking it into essays for school.
Then, just last month, my sister returned from India after six months teaching English and kid's church at an orphanage that my dad has been highly involved in for quite awhile. For the first couple of weeks that she was back, however, we couldn't find time to have sister time. She was back, but then I got snowed in at school. Then she was off to Hawaii to surprise our cousin. Then I was off to DC for the workshop. On Wednesday was one of the first times we had actually sat down and talked about life. As we sat on the stairs of the church stage after youth group, she looked down looking a bit melancholy.
"Do you ever miss Bosnia?" She asked, quietly.
I sighed, probably for added effect and being dramatic. "Everyday," I said. "Don't you miss India?"
"Of course, but nobody cares anymore. Nobody asks about it."
"I know." And I knew better than most. People hear your few stories that you have on back up that you want to tell everyone, but after that, they don't find it interesting. You went away, you came back, that's cool, move along. And there is nothing you want more than to find someone you can always go to and just discuss it with. People don't understand the slight changes in your behavior from being away and the only other people who get it, are the people who did the exact same thing as you.
|Drinking from the Sebilj - it means you'll one day return to |
Sarajevo and I seriously hope this is true.
Anyway, there's my Bosnia love for the day.
Until next time when I have more sentimental feelings to share,