First Trip to Sarajevo in November 2003…

Travelreport November 2003

 

Thursday, 10th November 2003. This is the beginning of a new cycle regarding our work in Bosnia-Herzegovina (in the following BiH). For me personally, it is an important start, because, if our idea is realizable, then it is exactly the aim which we had in our mind in Mostar a few years ago. The Society for Classical Homoeopathy in BiH has invited us:

A 3rd generation of homoeopaths should be trained. However, local colleagues don’t dare to do this training on their own. Therefore, they’ve asked for assistance. Negotiations for this project have run for almost one year with the result that the organisation will act as a local organiser of this training. This underlines the position of this organisation and it is an important step to independence. Furthermore, the already trained Bosnian homoeopaths will have the chance to pass on their knowledge to the new trainees at the same time – by our supervision, so that there would be not only a further generation of well-trained female homoeopaths, but also a group of well-trained teachers at the end.

 

 

Finally, the time has come:
I am beginning the 1st trip and the training cycle. I have not really any idea (typical Bosnian) of what I am expecting and who is waiting for me. Well, that means to jump into it and to find out what the situation offers locally.

As always on my trips to Bosnia, it is not really easy to arrive there, also this time: At the airport in Hamburg, I am getting the information that flight to Vienna/Sarajevo was cancelled due to bad weather condition. So, I have to stay in Hamburg for one night and hope that the weather condition would be better in the early of next morning on Friday. The new travel time is not really the easiest either because it is continuing very early on the next day. After arriving in Vienna my suspicion is coming true: The weather isn’t improving. Well, in such cases only an endless optimism can help. The event should begin on Friday in the afternoon and some people will wait.

 

After safe landing on a refurbished brilliant airport with granite floor which is welcoming me, and spontaneously, I remember my first landing in 1997, after the airport was reopened. At that time, the airport building could be hardly recognized as such. You fell over suspended plastic tarpaulins, over chairs still overturned to the improvised check-in counters. The well-known pall of smog with the Sarajevo typical smell mixture of burned waste and coal is coming into my nose.

At the exit, Dina a female homoeopath of the first generation in Sarajevo is waiting for me. She is responsible for transferring me. In her very old rickety car, it is immediately going on to town. Because of my flight delay, there is no more time. Our adepts for the training are already waiting.

It was incredible for me. We had estimated with 6 people as maximum, but now, 17 extremely fussy and interested Bosnia colleagues are sitting opposite me. And, I’m receiving the information that 5 more are unfortunately not able to attend this training this time. Through a first round of interviews, I’m learning that people in Sarajevo are divided into different generations.  English female colleagues have taught 2 groups, precisely the 1st and the 2nd generation. Everyone present, who has been dedicated to Classical Homoeopathy and also practises, is looking forward to the next step which is expecting them now. We are using the evening to discuss the procedure of this training. In connection with this meeting, it is going on with a conference with the head of management of the organisation. There are still countless open questions and organisational things which have to be clarified and this is not possible alone via email contacts.

The head of management are Seila and Momir, two doctors from Sarajevo and Nusret our former trainee from Mostar. He is very delighted to be able to report that an impressive number of people are also being expected on Saturday.

It seems that we four are immediately forming a good team: In a nice relaxed atmosphere it is easier for us to clarify all open questions. The three have done excellent work in advance, so that everything adapts quite wonderfully. For me, it is touching to see how positively excited it is for them. For the society, it is a big challenge to organise this training with their responsibility and to know that they will also place their own teachers at disposal.

On Saturday my expectations are also being exceeded: in a beautiful, big room which the local hospital has placed us at disposal, a group of nearly 40 people has met. The distributed questionnaire shows that 70 % of the attendees are doctors or medical personnel. Nearly everyone has already any kind of experience with homoeopathy and is looking forward to the training. The majority of them have a clear professional background regarding the homoeopathy. More requirements can not be desired from us.

We are experiencing a fruitful introduction weekend together. The group is standout with really good questions.

At the end of my trip, I permit myself to go for a quick trip to Mostar, our old domain. Nusret and Nermin, our former translator and trainees, have moved into new practice rooms there, which I should absolutely visit.

What I’m seeing, rounds off the whole weekend. Both have found spacious representative rooms which are situated centrally and have such an ideal cut that they are wonderfully suitable as training practice, as well as for lecture rooms. In the meantime, the ‘Homeopatija Centar Mostar’ enjoys a widespread acceptance. A tour together through the town shows me with how much love to detail the old-town has been reconstructed.

At least in this part of the town, Mostar inspires already nearly from its former bloom. Starimost the old bridge is almost restored. A slim arc connects east and west, still pillowed by latticework and concrete pillars. This sight is a symbol for me of which I have seen at this weekend.

In the meantime, lots of things have happened. The homoeopathy finds a wide response in BiH. It will very soon further develop in this area under its own experience, like the bridge which vibrates under its own power over Neretva.

Elisabeth von Wedel

The contact person

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Background:

The Winter Olympics 1984 took place in Sarajevo as well as in the mountains of its region.

Since 1992, Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its declaration of independence of Yugoslavia led to the war of Bosnia, in which Sarajevo was a hard-fought city.

The city of Sarajevo has a population of 304.000 and approx. 500.000 people live in the metropolitan area of Sarajevo. Therefore, Sarajevo is the city in this country with the most population.

During the war in Bosnia, Sarajevo was divided into one of the Bosnian and Herzegovina government controlled Bosnia-Croatian part and into one of the Republic of Serbian Krajina controlled Serbian part which shelled each other. The part controlled by the government troops (the city centre and the old town also belong to it) was beleaguered for exactly 1425 days.

The siege began on 5th April 1992 and is the longest siege in the history of the city. The core of Sarajevo was completely surrounded. Due to this siege and battles, 10,615 people from all ethnic groups including 1,601 children were killed according to the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Approx. 50,000 people were partly seriously injured by shells, mines or marksmen.

More background to the war in Bosnia, you will find in our book-documentation about the project in Mostar.