No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

19 January, 2008

Ski Week

The kids can hardly contain their excitement--skis on IN the parking lot!
Mr. Foss taking a break with a first grade kiddo.

We are in the midst of a 5 day ski trip to one of the local ski mountains, Igman. This sounds like a huge job perk! Skiing, fresh air, 5 days away from work. But, it's not so peachy. We spend the entire day picking 5 and 6 year olds up off the snow, carrying their skis, and then them, up the mountain, just to do it all over again.

I'm always amazed that Sarajevo could have hosted the Olympics, because while we have gotten some snow this year, there never seems to be enough to maintain a months worth of ski competitions. I guess it's another argument for global warming. The mountain desperately needs snow and a boost from tourist economy. There is 1 chair lift, a now defunct Olympic ski jump, and trash around the hill. Pazi--Mine! signs litter the drive up the mountain, posted on every 3rd tree. This area was heavily mined during the war. While it is a sharp contrast to the glitzy, shiny ski resorts of America, Igman has it's own charming quaintness. The kids have a great time and couldn't be more thrilled to be skiing over rocks on antiquated rental skis. The smiles on their faces are the true job perk that we enjoy.

17 January, 2008

Plastic Bags

09 January, 2008

Sretan Nova Godina (Happy New Year)

Fireworks over the canal
James's rogaine is working!
Always on the hunt for a great cinnamon roll!
Brendan and Cory and Jesse at Katwijk on the North Sea
Brendan, Cory and James at Katwijk

After 10 plane rides in 3 weeks, it's nice to be home. Being home for the holidays was worth all the, family, food, friends, food. It was great.

We spent the last week of our break in The Netherlands. We were delighted to find out that the Dutch love their fireworks! They don't have a state sponsored New Year fireworks display, but every Dutch man, woman, and child has a least one US-deemed illegal, personal explosive ordinance. These they light off around midnight all around the canals. They seem to wait for their turn, more or less, so maybe one or two large ones will go off in opposite directions, while many single blasts happen 360 degrees around you. What we would call a "grand finale" went uninterrupted for thirty minutes while church bells rang for twenty minutes. The sound of the bells was hardly audible, but it was fun to know that someone was enthusiastically pounding on them---at least we like to believe in human-powered bell ringers. A few torpedo-like fireworks exploded in front of the bridge we shared with a hand full of Lieden residents. If you haven't already, and you get a chance, it is well worth it to go to any medium sized town in Holland for a New Years celebration!

Of course, you can't leave Bosnia without a bit of hassle. The fog has set in again and we haven't seen the sun since arriving back into the "heart shaped country" last Sunday. People say the fog has been here for 4 solid weeks. Our plane circled the Sarajevo for about 40 minutes before deciding that visibility was too low and we turned around to land in Zagreb instead. So, we spent another 8 hours on another bus from Croatia to Sarajevo. I've flown in/out of Sarajevo a total of 5 times and on 3 of those trips, I have had to bus to Zagreb.