Red flames are shooting out of apartment buildings. People are climbing down balconies to get out. Gun shots are heard a block away, but so close, the richochet is unmistakeable, and people run for cover. A car zooms by at 40 mph to avoid being hit. The night sky is indistinguishable from the hills until a tail of light flashes through the sky. Where the rocket lands will be known in a few seconds. Smoke fills the air. It is in every direction, billowing up to the sky to form a film, a barrier, to the rest of the world, where peace is being taken for granted.
Yesterday, we went to the Tunnel Museum. Back in 1993, a year after the Bosnian war started, a tunnel was created to help those in Sarajevo survive. At 800 meters long, it was just 5 feet tall and 1.5 meters wide. The tunnel took 4 months to build with people working in shifts around the clock. People smuggled out, goods smuggled in.
When I was younger, I was ignorant. I knew the war was happening, but since I was so far removed, I didn't think much of it. I didn't think that people not much older than myself were fighting in the war, that children younger than myself were dying in it. But that was stupid of me. We are a global community. To think that at the end of the 20th century, people who were used to civilization were forced back in time, to live without electricity, water, and to fear that their every step would be their last. You may say that it's in the past, but is it? Is it really? Could it happen again with Kosovo? Perhaps it's already happening in, oh, I don't know, Darfur, Kenya, Iraq?
I have to wonder if people who saw the effects of war first-hand would really be gung-ho for it - when you see your neighborhood reduced to a pile of rubble, or see a family searching for a member among it. I wonder, if our choices were taken away and we had to live in a war-torn country, if we would rethink our strategy, our position, and our global neighbors.
You can see the other photos here. After the museum, we walked to Vrelo Bosna, which is where the Bosna river starts. It was peaceful, and is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. I look forward to seeing pictures of it in the spring and summer.
You can view the album here.