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Trip to Bosnia

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Here it is, the long overdo slides of my trip to Bosnia in 2000. Thanks to the help and the cooperation of many, the trip was a big success. My son Martin who died in 2010 accompanied me on this trip …

Here it is, the long overdo slides of my trip to Bosnia in 2000. Thanks to the help and the cooperation of many, the trip was a big success. My son Martin who died in 2010 accompanied me on this trip and was a great help! Let me know what you think!

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  • 1. In January 2000 we made a humanitarian trip to Bosnia at the end of the wa r.
  • 2. We had met a local rally club that decided they wanted to do a trip with us to Bosnia carrying humanitarian aid. Here we are in front of Lisbon´s townhall.
  • 3. Here´s a picture of the square with eleven vehicles in front of the townhall building.
  • 4. The president of the club gave an interview with the press which came out on the national news.
  • 5. Each car carried a mobile walkie-talkie and most were four by fours except for our two vans a Ford and a Mercedes.
  • 6. Here´s our faithful Ford Transit which made the 7,000 kms with no problems except for being a bit slow at times.
  • 7. Here we are inside the townhall. The mayor, João Soares, son of a famous Portuguese politician Mario Soares, made a toast and we had some champaigne together.
  • 8. My son Martin, who later died in a swimming accident in Burmuda, is here standing in front of the townhall on the right.
  • 9. Here I am with the mayor and two mission volunteers. The mayor´s father had been both President and Prime Minister of Portugal.
  • 10. We managed to give the mayor our thanks as he had donated some funds for travelling expenses. We were also carrying 24 boxes of a famous Portuguese liquor called Ginja, a cherry-fruit liquor for the Portuguese soldiers stationed in Sarajevo donated from the townhall.
  • 11. Here we are putting on stickers from some of the sponsers. Paula next to me was the major procurer of donated items, God bless her.
  • 12. The first night we stayed a roadside motel in France. Credit card only. No manager or attendant. The six of us squeezed into one room.
  • 13. We had planned the trip to arrive in Bosnia at Christmas, but in the end it wasn´t until January that the trip started.
  • 14. We were usually the last vehicle as the rally jeeps kept up a faster pace. It was rainy and icy and having a slower vehicle made everyone else have to go a bit slower which I think was a good thing this time. He we are approaching a tunnel in northern Italy.
  • 15. Getting across the borders was not always easy, but the Lord did the miracles we needed and we had no serious problems, although we did wait one night on the border while Paula was back in Portugal on the phone to the embassador trying to get us through.
  • 16. Here´s Paula sorting out some of the items for the trip in Lisbon. There were toys, clothing, blankets and some medical equipment and medicines. It was a miracle how we got the items across the borders like we did.
  • 17. As we got closer to Sarajevo it got colder and the roads were not as good anymore.
  • 18. The results of the war could be seen everywhere. This had been a church of some kind. You can see the steeple lying on its side.
  • 19. The destruction was evident everywhere along the roadside.
  • 20. I think this had been the newspaper´s main building.
  • 21. The strong man Tito had kept the Yugoslavian´s at peace with one another. Once he was gone old squabbles surfaced and exploded.
  • 22. Military presence was obvious.
  • 23. Our first stop was with the Portuguese peace-keeping troops in Sarajevo. We presented them with the Ginja and all celebrated together. Here I am in the middle.
  • 24. Everybody like to celebrate something and we had a fun fellowship together.
  • 25. Then we travelled to Brezna a small town some 20 kms outside of Sarajevo. There was snow, but I don´t remember having to use the chains we bought in case.
  • 26. On the way back as we reached into Spain, John´s van broke down and he got towed home to Valenca. He was tired anyway.
  • 27. Here are our two vans outside the refugee camp. Most were Gypsy refugees from Kosovo where the fighting was still taking place.
  • 28. American John at the camp. John made a total of eleven trips to Bosnia during the course of the war each time bring humanitarian goods epecially blankets. He got the idea in a dream and followed through!
  • 29. The president of the rally club presenting the medicines to the hospital in Bresna. That´s me on the right with the glasses.
  • 30. Here I am at the mission with American John and Spanish Santiago who has since gone to be with the Lord. A sweet American girl on the left. She was married to the French director of the mission.
  • 31. Here I am with some of the kids at a local school where we did a show and handed out needy items to the children.
  • 32. Here I am at the refugee camp in front of a UN vehicle.
  • 33. With my son Martin and the American mission volunteer distributing socks to the men.
  • 34. This was a large group so we could only give items which we had in large numbers as each person would receive the same items to avoid jealousy and conflict.
  • 35. They were mostly gypsy families from Kosovo. The woman were out selling or begging and the men were back with the children.
  • 36. Even a toothbrush can be a blessing when you don´t have one! Here we see the French director Michael with his wife Joanna!
  • 37. Some of the woman receiving their items.
  • 38. Martin making balloons for the children of a local school who received donated items. In times like war even little gestures of love are really appreciated.
  • 39. Sports items are usually highly desired and appreciated.
  • 40. On the way back the American friend thought he saw a short cut through Croatia, but the bridge was bombed out. Fortunately after a little looking we found a small barge that got us across. We didn´t save any time, but maybe some mileage.
  • 41. Getting off the barge. I was sick, so all I could do was pray they made the right decisions. It all worked out after a few hairy moments of uncertainty when we don´t know if we could find a barge across.
  • 42. It snowed during the time we were there.
  • 43. We did a clown show at each camp or school we visited. Laughter helps releave the tension and is almost always a good medicine.
  • 44. I got so much into the kit, that when I hit John with the paddle, he fell and saw “stars”.
  • 45. Everybody can make someone happy if he tries!
  • 46. Here´s where I hit John and he fell. Sorry John, but the crowd loved it!
  • 47. Even with the language barrier, they enjoyed the show!
  • 48. Actions songs get the children participating and help get them out of themselves! I´m on the far left!
  • 49. One of the camps we visited!
  • 50. Here´s the entrance!
  • 51. From a distance!
  • 52. Michael, mission director,receives some of the donated items brought from Portugal!
  • 53. At one of the distribution centers. At times like war even a little is greatly appreciated.
  • 54. The refugee children anticipating our show!
  • 55. Martin and Samuel at work with the balloons. Everyone likes balloons even if they only last a few minutes!
  • 56. Another destroyed building in Sarajevo! War is hell. It´s man greatest injustice to humanity. It´s man at his worst. Help us, Lord, to be peacemakers and lovers of men and of God. Help us to be instruments of thy love and thy peace. Amen!