Football and friendship

We've just spent a few days up a mountain running a summer camp for a group of young people who are involved in Novi Most's centres in Mostar and Capljina. The previous post mentioned how we'd been telling visitors about how Novi Most is successfully bringing together young people from across Bosnia and Herzegovina's different ethnic groups. The camp was proof again that this is neither propoganda or wishful thinking; it is a reality. I could pick on a number of encouraging incidents to illustrate this but perhaps the most humourous came this morning when a young lad pulled up his sleeve to show me some freshly penned inscriptions. Football fans will recognise that you would not normally expect to see "TM87", "Hajduk" and "Partizan" all 'tattooed' on the same forearm. I know one boy writing the name of big teams from Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia on his arm doesn't necessarily constitute a reconciliation revolution but it does demonstrate something of the atmosphere the camp created. Acceptance was definitely the order of the day. However, it being a camp for teenagers, it'd be slightly disingenuous not to add that nestled between these generous signs of sporting support I also spied the name of the girl he fancied!

[The following video gives a brief glimpse into our fun and games on the way home!]


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