Made It

Hey everyone,

Sorry that I haven’t been able to get a message to you, have had problems with my#$%^*&&^hotmail account! The trip here went as smooth as it possibly could. It pays to do your homework. I have found that if you don’t push things to hard it all will fall into place. My contact for this project has been delayed in Zurich Switzerland and I still have not been in touch with her in person. So Plan B was?? Good question. So I went to UNHCR yesterday and told them of our project and they have been most helpful! Today I had a field officer named Trim take me to Plementina; it is just west of Prishtina. There is a small Kosovar Albanian village that has been pretty well wiped out. They are sandwiched between a Roma camp on one side and a Serbian village on the other side. From a safety and comfort aspect it was not a wise decision to put them (Roma Camp) there, The Serbian village is about the same as the Kosovar village in the amount of destruction, this was retaliation on the part of the Kosovars. Remember that I plan on staying out of the whys and want to concentrate on the Need! For My personal safety and the Balkan Sunflowers safety I have decided to only work with Kosovar Albanians. I have found a place that is in need. I have also found an N.G.O that will help me with assessment and purchase and distribution. They think that what we are doing is great! I have for the moment concentrated on 4 families totaling 17 people who need just about everything except a roof over their head. Tomorrow I will go back to UNHCR and work out the logistics and start to purchase the needed supplies. I have a list of things to purchase at the market. Ready? Here it is… multiply this list time four. 10 liters of cooking oil, 20 Kilos of potatoes, 8 K of oranges, 1 tin of sardines? 15 cans of soup w/ meat, Rice, 8 K. of tangerines, 12 liters milk that does not need to be refrigerated, 17 pairs of shoes and 5 square meters of wood that should get them through the hard part of the winter. After I have taken care of this and have added up the total I probably will see if I can take on an extra family or 2 or 3. I don’t want to get too carried away until the final total is totaled and paid, and distributed.

The weather here on Monday was 55 – 60 degrees with beautiful blue sky! 5 minutes after I got to the BSF apartment the electricity came on. So I jokingly think to myself that someone must have known I was coming. Today it is around 20 degrees with a 5-10 MPH wind and 2 inches of snow. Taking a taxi home last night was a trip that ended on foot for the last part. Imagine Xmas week on a snowy evening with a bunch of “You Know Whos” in vehicles with summer tires trying to get up a hill. Demolition Derby Time!

There is no road crew in place to plow, sand, salt; this morning was just as interesting. Had to walk 2-3 miles to the other side of town to get to UNHCR. Just like old times. Any way things are falling into place about as good as they can. Will feel better when the supplies are actually in the hand of those who we are helping.

On a personal note have hooked up with the few close friends from this summer that are still around, made several new ones as well. The Group Of BSFs are doing great work here with a parade down main street with over 100 children to announce the ” RIGHTS OF CHILDREN” Many themes to many to mention but a few are the right to worship, educate, love, live in peace. The best way to describe the parade would be a whole bunch of large “Bread and Puppet” style paper mache animals, Dolphin, Bumblebee, sun, moon along with small banners all / mostly made by the children. Should be a pretty cool way to End the Millennium in Kosova. On Christmas Eve I/We are going to a Midnight Mass to Celebrate Christmas.

This Mass is going to be attended by Albanian Christians and Moslems alike. Something that they have done all along, this one should be pretty special. Hey I have to go. Just like the last time so much to tell yet not enough time to tell it. I tried to keep from Rambling, Hope it was clear enough to get the picture of what is going on here. If I get the chance I will send you all an e-mail later in the week. Hopefully with some good news about the project. Hope all is well. Couldn’t be better here considering the circumstances. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do this, it really is an honor. Have a happy Holiday Season… Stay Warm. I am by turning on the kitchen stove at night which is right next to my bed. Better known to most of you as the Kitchen floor…

Jonathan