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Saturday, June 03, 2006


We'd been out on a patrol checking to see if any DPREs (Displaced Persons and Refugees) had returned to one of the outlying villages. We'd heard that some were due back. Sometimes this caused massive tensions as people who'd lived together for years, then spent a couple of years trying to kill each other, were finally reintegrated.

The village itself consisted of about 15 houses. None of the roofs were still intact. Even pre-war it didn't look like it had had running water or electricity.

We found the returnees - a family of four. At least one of the children wouldn't have been born when they'd been forced to leave during the war.

Like many returnees the family were trying to weatherproof their house with a UN 'kit' consisting of tarpaurlins and see through plastic sheeting.

We didn't have an interpreter and fairly quickly our faltering Serbo-Croat ran out. We made do with sign language. We were invited in and they made us coffee.

Then they brought out the food. It consisted of cabbage, flour and water made into some sort of strudel. And it was cold.

But it was their food for the day.

And they wanted us to have it.


Blogger The Boy said...

Another universal, generosity. It never ceases to amaze me that hospitality, no matter how mean the circumstance, is almost a given. People, no matter how hard up, need to feel generous to show to themselves they're human

3:07 pm  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

I think I'd've cried.

4:12 pm  
Anonymous Kath said...

That's amazing, y'all must have been so touched.

Also, I hear congrats are in order! Have a great weekend!

6:41 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Sometimes it seems the meaner the circumstance the greater the hospitality.
'Congrats' - have I missed something?

9:36 am  
Blogger Donna said...

That's the kind of thing that warms your heart, if not your stomach.

12:23 pm  

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