Our first few days in Fuzine have been pretty busy. We are working in a team of about 10, composed of both Croatians and Americans (Hillary Holman is here, for those of you that know her!) There's a lot to do this week and we've both been working really hard (especially Whitney because her project is pretty demanding). We are getting ready for Economic Diplomacy Seminar (EDS), which is an advanced version of ROM (the reconciliation/leadership conference which is based upon the principles of Jesus). EDS takes the principles of ROM (principles of Jesus) and applies them to economic development, which focuses on issues such as poverty, corruption, unemployment, working across ethnic/religious lines, etc. The conference will run from July 1-15.
I have been helping out with office duties and working on preparing notebooks for the participants. Whitney has been working on decorations with Branja (one of the woman on the ROM team), which has been a huge task. The leadership team arrives tomorrow, so everyone has been really busy (and a bit stressed) trying to get everything done, which has been hard because we've been having lots of computer problems. Once the leadership team, speakers and participants arrive, we will have a full house with around 60 people staying here at Hope House. I
Fuzine (where we are staying) is a pretty small village (the estimated pop. is about 1300, including the surrounding area). But not to worry, it has a bank, post office, general store, pharmacy, fruit store and a few restaurants/cafes/bars and two atms!! There are also two lakes which are great for walking/running around and for fishing, boating and swimming. Apparently this region was a safe place for people of all ethic and religious backgrounds during the wars, so that was why it was chosen for ROM (so all the participants would feel safe, welcome, etc). The coast (Adriatic Sea) is only a half hour drive from here, and we are going to go next weekend during EDS as a day trip.
Overall, I'd say we're doing pretty good and getting excited for the conference to start this sunday!
-that everything will get done in time for the conference (and that the computers will work, visas will arrive, the new photcopy machine will arrive)
-for friendships being made and team dynamics