2008 February

Thought we should start off with this beautiful photo of
Our Queen of Peace, the honoring of the 150th anniversary at Lourdes.

Feb. 7th: Mary is off again into the hill country. I hope that
she does not buy us a summer cottage.

This lady looks so jovial; Mary tells me that her
neighbors give her the wool from their lambs and she processes it and
creates beautiful but rustic sweaters and socks. The wool is not worth
that much anymore and the art of home spinning is dying out.

The water cistern and the wash pail are conveniently

This sweater is one of the lady’s creations. Mary
wanted to buy it (donation) for Jelka in Stolac but it was maybe too
short. So an extra two balls of yarn is added so that Jelka can
custom fit the sweater.

Edgar joins us today as we go to visit a local family.
We bring Edgar to check over the electric range which he purchased for
this family in the last week.

Ana, the daughter, treats us to a “hip
hop” rendition of a three page English poem which she has written to give
thanks to her mother for all that she has sacrificed to keep this family
together. We are so proud of Ana. Edgar has returned to Canada for
this season.

The father of these kids gives us a guided tour of his back property.
He has a pig shed but no pigs. He has a chicken area but no
chickens. Edgar has left Ana a surprise with us which will populate those
pens and make their mother’s life easier.

Our friend, Joseph, buys roses each year to pass
out to some of the local ladies (we get one from Joseph also, thank you
Joseph). Joseph tries to order 30 from a local shop early on so that
he may get a deal but the shop tells him to come back on the 13th and see
what they have.

A new Italian florist has opened so we go along while
Joseph tries there. Success! He places the order.

Joseph tells us a story about how, when he first started
doing this here in Medjugorje, he ended the evening with two roses left
That evening he goes to one of the confessional boxes and, at the end,
Joseph gives the priest the two roses. The priest is surprised and
asks Joseph “who put you up to this?” Joseph answers “no one, I just
had a thought that I should give them to you” The priest quizzes him
some more and then finally tells Joseph that he is here in Medjugorje
praying to Our Lady and to St.Theresa Lisieux, the little flower and that
he has asked for a sign from her for guidance.

Feb 13: we travel to Stolac to visit with Father
Rajko. The daughter in the family in Lubinje (we delivered a lap top for
her use at university) finds that the computer is limited because the
Vista operating system will not accept the “C” programming and other
utilities at the school. We need to replace it.

And now Janet, local social worker, is fore seeing
problems at the customs office in Mostar. They have recently started
intercepting boxes and holding them in Mostar. They had been
checking the boxes and declaring fees based on “declared value” and
passing them through to Medjugorje post office for payment. Now one
has to get to Mostar ($60 taxi ride) and redeem the boxes. Janet has
5 boxes. Mary goes with her and talks the inspectors down to $16
rather than the $200 initially asked for. Happy day!

Feb 14th: Father Svet has arranged for the English
speaking residents of Medjugorje to hear a talk by the American Embassy
staff out of Sarajevo. All of the English speakers are invited to

Ok we’re ready.

Ok, we’re really ready. Do you recognize Father Wm. Elder
in this shot?

Lidija, the parish translator, is waiting with the camera
ready to shoot.

Cynthia is here and is ready to talk.

Ida has come with Cynthia and our Father Kevin is right in
there also.

Feb. 16: Deacon Tom has joined us for Holy
Mass; so delightful.

Penny discussing life(?) with Jeff and Charlie,

We add Tom to the wonderful mix.

Feb 18th: This was Columbo’s and Coco’s and Dani’s.

There will be
3 buildings and an underground garage (perhaps for the hotel?)

(March 9: the hole has been dug deeper and deeper and wider. It has
been really raining for a number of days and the sides of the hole are
kind of collapsing. A few cars may be trapped in that they cannot
exit. Busses cannot get through to the pensions in back!)

Construction is proceeding at the back of the church and
on the rotunda.

New site of Columbo’s. Parking in back for up to 30
cars; dining room upstairs and downstairs; they want to be open by Easter!

One of the views from inside the new Columbo’s. Chris,
owner of Columbo’s has been paying his staff to help them and to keep them
available for the re-opening!

Dani has opened his photo shop right next to the new

We hear that a hospital is under construction in
Medjugorje. A fellow from Zagreb who has a clinic in Mostar is
starting it. Staff interviewing has already begun.

The Holy Cross on Mt. Krizevac is to be lighted as are the
bronze Stations of the Cross leading to it. A donor has been found!