Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mostar Moves

A decidedly not-so-positive impact of lots of RAIN! The river turned an uncharacteristic brown and caused damaging flooding on either side of Mostar...at one point it was just below the terrace you see on the right.

As I look for excuses to avoid my ever-present mound of schoolwork, I've spent more time than usual this week catching up on world news and reacquainting myself with Mostar. For a town which constantly bears the brunt of criticism for its bureaucratic fiascoes and slow reconstruction efforts, some things in Mostar sure change fast. In just over 3 weeks time, it managed to see the flooding of the Neretva, the stripping of the Old Bank by scrap-metal seekers, the introduction of a new cafe, restaurant, supermarket complete with Mexican and Italian food imports, shopping center, and possibly other signs of modernization and westernization that I'm unaware of. Now whether such commercial changes have a positive impact is another question. With political frustrations also building and economic and ethnic issues always present, I hope that the next few weeks see changes more in the vein of a new mayor or less corruption. I'm encouraged and confident that some progress is being made...our dance instructor Ashely Fargnoli succeeded for the first time in conducting a joint workshop with Bosniak and Croat girls from Mostar and Sarajevo...that's a bigger deal than you might think! Even some of the ever-present ruins down the street are slowly being cleared out or rebuilt. For better and sometimes for worse, Mostar is moving...I hope and pray it's at least mostly in the right direction.

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