Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Our music Tuesdays

I guess it was iTunes that began the new music Tuesday thing. I'm sure the back in the days when Our Price existed you'd go and buy new singles on a Monday. Times change and Tuesday's it is. While I can have few complains about iTunes' service the Tuesday thing is slightly annoying. Monday's are often a day off – we work most weekends – and therefore an ideal day to go previewing new releases. Obviously, I'm ultimately the winner the way things are as the chance of impulse buying a new release is effectively removed. And for that my wallet is thankful!

Throughout this summer Tuesdays are our music day. We didn't want to stop music courses altogether over the holidays so we set aside Tuesdays as the day to teach. This morning I've taught keyboards, guitar and bass guitar. I will be back in this evening for more lessons. All of us on the Novi Most team in Jajce teach music, all of us have students at different levels. Some came to us with a little previous experience, many we've taught from the beginning. Perhaps they are the most satisfying to teach: people who without our input may never have got the opportunity to play.


Last Friday we took some a group of young people to Mostar for the day. The Novi Most team there was running a summer festival for a few days and some of our music students got the chance to play as part of the evening's open air event. For a couple of them it was only their second time to perform like this. They did themselves proud. For us, these are the moments that prove how far we, and they, have come. We know there's more we can do to help develop young musicians. However in looking to the future it's important not to forget what we've achieved already. We've helped people do what they never imagined they'd be able to. And if Mastercard will permit us to say so, that's priceless.

Monday, 29 July 2013

A walk to remember

Last week we were part of a guided walk up one of the mountains that surround Jajce. Like in much of the rest of the country, you don't go for walks in the countryside without consulting local knowledge. Bosnia and Herzegovina still has an unknown number of land mines unaccounted for, despite it creeping closer to two decades since the end of the war here. Some are in marked mine fields; many are, at least assumed to be, still scattered indiscriminately in areas where fighting took place. It's not something you take chances with.


As we hiked up in the hot sun we stopped in a bit of shade on the edge of a forest clearing. Here our guide pointed to the shallow hole in the ground that you might be able to make out in the picture. This was part of the frontline in the fighting that went on around Jajce. It was here that two guys who'd sat next to each other at school killed each other; a story horribly reminiscent of lyrics from the song Crazy by Seal. “One of them's got a gun, to shoot the other one. And yet together they were friends at school...” As the guide added, today you could walk past as if nothing happened, but we do well to remember the madness and pray it never happens again.