Saturday, August 25, 2012

Swimming, Tennis and Beach...oh MY!

It's been a busy summer here at Irby Road!
It all started with an exciting trip to Neum, a city about 4 hours away from Sarajevo right on the coast. Our landlady from Svaki Student center owns a beautiful pension very close to the water. We had 17 students join our summer project and staff for a few days on the beach. My MOM was able to join in the fun too! She flew in for the beach trip. We also spent a few days on another coastal town (Orebic) for some time with just our team:
Since then, we have been to Jahorina (Olympic mountain) with our church, taking 10 students with us. A highlight for us was hiking and blueberry picking. It was wonderful to escape the Sarajevo HEAT.
Israel and Elijah have had an adventurous summer. They had a very sweet reunion with some of their very best friends in all the world, Mani and Pippa. These sweet children are from England. They all attended preschool together until January when they had to move back to England. One of the hardest parts of being a "third culture kid" is the good byes. There are so many. Saying goodbye to Mani and Pippa was the hardest thing our children have encountered since moving here. Needless to say they were totally blessed to have them in Sarajevo the entire month of August! They had two sleepovers:
And two weeks of swimming lessons. The kids went from not being able to swim without lots of assistance to swimming free style! Their coach was wonderful. We are considering more lessons in the future. Josh also taught a tennis camp for children. We gathered 11 children plus Israel and Elijah. There were children from Bosnia, America, Turkey, England and Denmark. Here's a picture of the 9 am group:
and 10 am group:
We took a family vacation to Neum and stayed in the same apartment. The kids loved practicing their new swimming skills!
On the way back we stopped at an old Dervish house and I got to enter the Dervish prayer house with proper covering.
Adeline loved the water too. She turned 10 months old! Time is really flying with this sweet, precious baby. She has a great sense of humor and keeps us busy.
One student, Sanel, invited us to visit his family's home in a village nearby. We enjoyed being with his family for a cookout and spending time in nature, hiking through the forest and running in the fields!
In addition, the kids have started to learn to ride their bikes without training wheels. As I type, Israel and Josh are at the first annual Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival. The Manhattan String Quartet is playing for the entire week. I attended last night with Israel. She really wanted to go again tonight. Although Josh and I are very tired from a busy day, how can we pass up taking our six year old to hear classical music?! Tonight they will hear Beethoven, Dvorak and Arensky!
It has been a busy summer indeed. I can't believe that in one week, Elijah will begin vrtic (preschool). It will be a different year for him, being without Israel. I'm excited for him to branch out and make some new friends not connected with Israel. If you think of him, please say a quick prayer that he will be brave going all on his own! And in two weeks, my little Izzy will begin FIRST GRADE! It's a big deal! She will go to a big school. We have chosen the Catholic Center in Sarajevo. It has a wonderful reputation and we know many people who have sent their children there. The school is beautiful and we look forward to seeing Israel branch out and meet new friends. Like Elijah, it may be hard to be without her little brother, but we are believing that she will make many new friends! Josh and I are both working on making new fitness goals. Josh has been riding his bike and running. I have been swimming (during the kids' lessons...50 laps!) and riding my birthday bike. :) I'm also wanting to write on here more, so look for more blog posts soon! Would love to hear from all of you and about your lives. Facebook only reveals so much!

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