Today was our day off, so we were able to see much of Sarajevo. Katie, Amy, and Jenny went to mass at the Serbian Orthodox Church in Old Sarajevo, and once service ended Ronit, Gali, and Ediba met up with them and began shopping.

Purchases ranged from Turkish tea sets to pomegranate juice and fresh fruit to jewelry.

Dzevida, our host, made dinner reservations at a lovely restaurant half way up the mountain where we were able to eat while looking out over the city. The evening ended by taking a ski lift tram ride up the remainder of the mountain to the top. The view was spectacular, with a matching sunset.

In addition to the scenery, culture, and souvenirs, we were able to learn about and mourn the historical reality of Sarajevo. Buildings with patched holes, red paint filling in grenade holes (referred to as “Bosnian Roses”), and a sniper shelter built into the mountainside are stark reminders that the 1990’s weren’t very long ago at all. BRIGHT team members fall in love with every country they visit, and Bosnia is no exception. It brings sadness to our hearts to know our new friends lived through this reality, but seeing Bosnia in 2019 with its incredible coexistence brings us so much joy.