The fun continues…
On Wednesday, after a few hours of homework help we took a different group of kids bowling. I haven’t been bowling in months and in America had quite an obession with it. My father picked up on this and bought me a ball with my name on it, a bag and the cutest shoes. Of course none of these items happen to be in Bosnia with me now and I will say that is why my bowling game was not as strong.
Turns out that not only does Mepas Mall have a movie theatre, but also a bowling alley. The bowling alley is small but they give you a pair of socks to wear with there shoes. Free socks is always a good idea.
We all sorted ourselves into teams of 4 per lane and had a good time. I was not the best bowler of the night but I slowly got better with tips from the kids. It was fun watching everyones different strategies to bowl. Some better than others but I have to admit everyone had a great time.
There was also an area to play pool if bowling was not your thing.
After bowling we had worked up quite an appetite. We all walked over to a pizzaria for dinner. I was really surprised how much the kids could eat. Some eating an entire personal pizza. The pizzaria was so loud with us all there, everyone was laughing, talking and playing with the people at there tables.
Thursday was the Heathland Schools last full day in Mostar and our plan was to make it count. We did our usual homework help but I have to admit the kids were so anxious to just have some fun. After homework help, we played all day long. Kids were upstairs, downstairs, outside, everywhere. I went and played a game of football in the Sports Center at the orphanage. I have kicked a soccer ball a handful of times in my life. Football is a hard sport and requires so much running. But I’m glad I played, it was a great workout, I was exhausted by the time we got kicked out. I was happy that a sports game was scheduled there so we had to leave. But I did score one or two goals after many failed attemps.
We got all different kinds of burek in the dining hall for dinner. In the words of one my kids ‘I love you burek!’ Thursday was Almedin’s birthday. So our plan was to throw a surprise party for him. We bought a pack of balloons blew them up, decorated a few paper lanterns and had a huge cake. After dinner Slaven took Almedin to the store and we got in our places for the surprise. During this 15 minute process half of the balloons were popped…but luckily there were some left for Almedin’s arrival. Everyone sang happy birthday to Almedin in English…and we enjoyed cake, juice and more playing.
Some of our kids had realized it was the last day of our UK visitors and were becoming very emotional. In just one week these kids had grown so close to the Heathland students and staff that they did not want them to leave. I praise my kids for how big there hearts are, most hellos in life will lead one day to a goodbye. Goodbyes are tough because even though they are not always permanent it leaves this unknown question of when will you see this person again. I know that goodbyes are especially tough for our kids.
The week before I watched our kids say goodbye to Alma and Lejla. Alma is a long time volunteer, board member and supporter of Naša Djeca from Sweden. Lejla is a friend of Alma who wanted to spend a week in Bosnia. Their goodbye was also tough to watch. My heart breaks when I see my kids cry. However one of my kids Edin asked if I was leaving back to America on Friday and I responded no, and he the biggest smile on my face. That moment made my day. I want to just enjoy every moment that I get with these kids because I know the time will come when I will leave too…. It’s something I don’t want to even think about but I’m so grateful to spend so much time with my kids, the girls of the house, the guys from the halfway house and the staff of Naša Djeca. They are my heart and my family!
Something really special about the time that the Heathland School spent in Mostar is that they weren’t just with the kids from the orphanage at the Kids Club. That is just one of the projects that Naša Djeca does while also helping with the halfway house for young men who are former orphans and the girls house. A few of the evenings we were all together as one, to me that is really beautiful and shows just how close of a unit this charity is. I’m really proud to be apart of this organization.
Thank you Heathland School UK for your time, energy, laughter, compassion and big hearts. Until next time…