My name is Mathilde Crete. I am 21 years old and I come from France. And I am currently a volunteer at COD Jajce.
When I decided to come to Bosnia, the first question of the people around me was “Why Bosnia”?
Honestly I wasn’t quite sure myself why either, I just knew it would be a whole new experience for me, I wanted to go somewhere I had never been before.
But now my answer to such a question is quite different. And if you really asked me today “why Bosnia?”, I would tell you a lot, and now I will list only a few items.
The first thing I realized when I came to Bosnia is that the people here are very friendly and everyone wants to help you. During my stay in Bosnia, I never felt lonely. There was always someone there to spend time with me, tell me something new and go out for coffee with me.
The other thing is beautiful nature. Wherever you go there is a river, a mountain, beautiful bridges, an amazing waterfall, beautiful fortresses. That’s why I love Jajce, the town is small but wherever you look you have a beautiful view.
I was lucky enough to volunteer at COD Jajce where I discovered many new things. I worked with children in the Ciciban playroom, assisted in dance and gymnastics workshops, and I was also part of the “zumba” fitness recreation and youth theater. There is so much that can be done in Jajce.
Furthermore, one of the most important things in Bosnia is food, and it is really great. There is burek (advice: do not look for burek with cheese, burek is always with meat), kebabs and many other dishes. I will just say that if you haven’t already, you have to try Bosnian food. And to stay healthy there is also brandy.
Bosnian is a completely new language for me. I had a chance to learn some words and sentences, it’s not easy, but I like how it sounds. And I (almost) learned the complex history of the state. Interestingly, everyone is very open and wants to talk about it.
Another very important thing is coffee. You have to try homemade Bosnian coffee, but it is important that you are in the company while drinking it. Bosnians really enjoy spending time with friends and family, drinking coffee and grilling.
In the end, Bosnia is a real adventure for me. Whoever wants to meet new people, try new delicious food, enjoy nature, learn something about another culture, Bosnia is the right destination.
They will come back again after the current pandemic situation calms down because there is still a lot I have to learn about Bosnia.