As we travel across the lands of Central Europe, once ruled by a mighty Empire in Vienna, you begin to get a sense of just how little we in America know or understand about this foreign region. In our relatively “short” bus trip, we crossed into three countries, had passports checked and stamped, sometimes not, and it more and more was clear that one thing we misunderstand in America is the idea of “states” and how different these places can be. It is a stereotypical southern answer in america to say what our Civil War was about and that answer is usually “states rights”. Southerns believed strongly in the idea of their state being different then all the other “United” states, yet what we see after our Civil War is that the Union of states is much stronger then the division of states. This is what I believe to be apart of the problem when Americans try and understand the problems facing this region as well as the Balkans. I have met so many amazing people on this trip, and we have talked about the issues facing countries like Serbia, Greece, Macedonia (which Greece calls something else!) So as we continue onward with this trip and the big pictures slowly fades into focus, I believe something we must take with us is an understanding of people. and how governments and people can be closely tied, they can also be very separated. I want to live in a world of people not government, a world of stories not official statements and hopefully I add to this world.
Also in a lighter note watching the World Cup in Sarajevo with a group of international friends is an amazing night that will never be forgotten, seeing the joy and exciting of a group of people watching a silly game all in unison was truly a life time moment and I can not wait to tell everyone I know back home how much they missed this!