“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true!" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am finally living my dream! My name is Sarah Edgar, and ever since I was 6 years old all I ever wanted to do was be an exchange student, but as I grew older I thought I would never be able to be a high school exchange student. Here I am today, a junior in high school, who is currently studying abroad in Bosnia i Herzegovina, in the lovely city of Sarajevo!!

If you had asked me at the beginning of sophomore year would I go and study abroad, my junior year in high school, I would have replied,'
“1. No, there is NO way my parents are letting me out of this state, all by myself, at age 15, never mind the country.
2. I will not let myself miss the most important year in my high school career.
3. my parents aren't going to pull, $15,000 out of their pockets, and hand it to me saying, “Go study abroad in country that you know nothing about.""

Well, through YES Abroad, which is funded by the State Department, my parents are saying goodbye to their "little girl" and I am allowing myself to give up my junior year "Dream" of taking AP and Dual Credit classes to study abroad and have a cultural exchange. At least my parents didn't have to dish out $15,000!! :)

God has given me such an amazing opportunity, He has opened so many doors for me, and it is INCREDIBLE!!! I can't wait to see where this journey takes me!! I would love for you to follow my journey through this blog, which I will be keeping updated every few weeks! Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

“When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED."- Dr. Suess

OHHHHH Bosnia you never give me a boring day! Honestly, if I was to say that I have had 1 boring day since I got here two months ago (and YES I have been here for TWO WHOLE MONTHS) I would be lying to you. Every day brings a new adventure, whether it is exploring a fortress that is older than my home country, trying a new food that I am scared to ask what it is ( though that doesn't happen too much unless I eat some strange body part like KIDNEYS), or trying to communicate with a taxi driver who doesn't understand that I don't want to marry his son who I haven't even met!!!!! hahaha  I really never have a boring day!! My life is quite interesting!!!

These last few weeks have been busy, but I have noticed that I have never, not had a busy week, so I guess it is just the normal pace for me now! But I think these last few weeks have been abnormally busy! Last week was crazy!! My host family and I celebrated Bajram or also known as Eid! And let's just say it was crazy! I had a three day school break for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Monday we spent at home and spent some time with Sanida's sister who had flown in from Germany for the other sister's, Lejla, wedding. Tuesday we had a huge meal prepared and spent the entire day with all the extended family, and then came home to watch the soccer match.... The match that was kinda of a do or die match for the Bosnia team to get into the World Cup. Let me start off by saying that 90 min. game was the most stressful 90 min. of my life!!!!!! We were playing Lithuania who , rumor has it, was told by a certain team that if they beat us, they would be paid 50,000,000 Euros each.... well, who knows if the rumor is true, but they sure played like it!!!!! Lithuania played their hearts out with the Bosnia team, holding us 0-0 after half time. Let me just remind you last time we played them, we beat them 4-0 or something like that! Bosnia FINALLY scored, but it was called off sides and we were back to the beginning, but only a few min. after this invalid goal Bosnia scored! The city went WILD! I was watching this game from my house, but down at the BBI center, which is a well known shopping center downtown, thousands of people had gathered to watch the game on big screen! BBI is pretty far from my house, but I heard the screams of the people from my house! All I could see from my window was a red glow from all the flares and the smoke that that was now covering the center! The game continued and Bosnia finally won with the score of 1-0!!! They finally qualified for the World Cup for the first time since becoming an independent nation! Let’s just say that the honking and fireworks could be heard through the night! :)

Wednesday I stayed at home and started feeling not so good, which was the start of my problems! Let’s just say I spent the next few days sick to stomach with fever and missed the wedding I had been planning for since I got here, I EVEN HAD A DRESS MADE FOR IT!!!!! UGGHHHH It was so annoying! But life happens and we just have to get over it, but I heard it was an AMAZING wedding! So my three day school break turned into an entire week because of this dumb virus. But I won’t complain!

The weekend before Bajram I went on a class trip to jajce! OHHHHH It was gorgeous!! Fall is already my favorite season, but fall in Bosnia is even better! The trees are such vibrant colors right now! On our trip we went a visited some catacombs, a fort that is OLDER than America, the place where the old Yugoslavia was put together, and then to this lovely park, where some old mills are!! AHH it was so nice and beautiful!  The trip was great! After the trip I went to a concert of a famous Croatian singer named Severina… It was interesting! But we had so much fun!! All the Americans made up words to the songs, because none of us had a clue what she was singing about!  

So I have definitely had a busy couple of weeks! These last two weeks at school have been filled with tests, SO MANY TESTS!!! I have never studied so much in my life!!! But I guess that is junior year for you! Ohhh the joys of high school ;) Well I am going to have to end this post! But I hope everyone is doing well from where ever you are reading this from!! Thanks for the emails that I get! They mean alot to me! Sorry I haven't replied to some, but I promise to get to it in this next week or so! 

Until the next adventure,
Sarah Edgar

P.s. Here is a great post on the Soccer Match and its significance in Bosnia http://blogs.aljazeera.com/blog/europe/crazy-celebrations-bosnia-and-herzegovina


The typical group picture...

90% of the time that we spend together consists of us laughing!!!

The Catacombs

Bosnia game

Sevarina concert

Monday, October 7, 2013

"I think I'm constantly in a state of adjustment."- Patti Smith

Well.... Where do I start!!??? I have done so much in the last month!!! Sorry for not updating this blog in a while, but let's just say I haven't had much time on my hands!!! This last month has been crazy whirlwind of adjusting to the Bosnian life!!

I started school September 2nd, and I am LOVING it!!!! My teachers are great and the students have been so welcoming!! I couldn't ask for a better school!! I am loving my school schedule, which is a lot like a college schedule, which means I have breaks between many classes, but don't worry, I keep busy with school work and looking into colleges... I really can't believe that at this time next year I will be filling out college applications... I am not ready for that, I feel as though I should still be six years old, skipping with Becca McElfresh at co-op, but I guess life flies by in a blink of an eye, and we have to grow up whether we want to or not! But never mind the sad part of having to grow up, I might as well embrace my childhood while I still have it, enjoy the "easy" life!!

So with that in mind I am diving head first into getting involved in the Bosnian community. When I accepted this scholarship, I made a promise to myself that I would use the amazing opportunity that I have been given to make a change! Though, this is exchange is ALOT of fun, I didn't just come to have fun, but rather give to the community! With that in mind, I have started teaching English to at a local elementary school! It's the same school that my oldest host sister goes to! Fortunately, I am not teaching alone. Emma Morgan, a fellow YES Abroader, is teaching alongside with me!! We had our first lesson on Wednesday, and it went great!

I will hopefully start volunteering at the Blind and Deaf School in the next few weeks, I am not sure how it will work out, but it will be a chance for a new experience!!

I have also had the chance to start going to a local Baptist church here! It is amazing how God answers prayers! I was so excited when I first heard about it, and I have loved it since I went 3 weeks ago! It is all in Bosnian, but I have a few people who have translated for me!! The people at the church have been so welcoming! It has been an amazing experience, and I can't wait to continue the year growing in God with everyone there!

This last month has definitely been crazy, but the best part of the entire month has to be experiencing the European love for soccer or otherwise known as "futbal"!!!!!!! I am now of futbal fan!!! I loved soccer before, but NOW I have a whole new appreciation for it!! The National Bosnian Futbal team has tried qualifying for the World Cup the last 3 years, but have come short in the last few rounds! So as you guess, the last few games that they play are EXTREMELY important this year and I am pretty sure the ENTIRE country watches the last couple of games! They won the previous game, and let me just say, I have NEVER EVER seen such a celebration for a win!! It was CRAZY!! People were driving around honking their horns and they stormed the streets!! Definitely the best experience yet!!

Last weekend, I went with my family to make ajvar!! I really don’t know how to describe what is except it’s made out of peppers, similar to bell peppers! It was delicious and so much fun to make!!

This weekend I went to the Russian ballet!! It was great, I had front row seats, and it brought back memories of the ballets my mom took me too!!!

Other that, nothing else has happened!! I miss my friends LOT'S but I know I will see them soon! i hope all is going well wherever you are reading this from! Over all, I LOVE BOSNIA!!!!! 

Until the next adventure,
Sarah Edgar

The view that is only 10 min. away from my house!

Attempting to crawl through the window

Russian Ballet

My host mom and I.

Ajvar making with my family!