Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Day 64: Gosh, how time flies! I have passed the half way mark now and it does not seem long before I will be coming home for winter break, only 8 weeks more. the last week was spent doing my project week, which as I mentioned was not the one I had wished to do. Our project was only four days long so I had quite a lot of free time. The project itself was moderately interesting but I do not feel it was the most productive project and was not quite what I was expecting. we came up with three small sketches and preformed them in the public square to raise awareness of human trafficking.
    With the rest of my free time I generally didn't do much and to be quite frank I was feeling low for the majority of the week, it was only when my room mate came home on Saturday that I realised it might have partially been because I was in shock from the lack of people in the residence because they had all gone away for project week and I had actually missed them a lot. My Spanish room mate is incredibly artistic, I think she is the only other person in college who is as passionate about art and wants to go on to study it. Her presence in the room is a huge hole when she is gone, she has amazing Spanish temperament and is sometimes crazily happy, spreading her joy everywhere, but when she's pissed at someone you know; but she is happy about 90% of the time so it's all good. When she came back on Saturday I talked to her about my slight disappointment with visual arts and the work load - or lack of - she just talked to me and somehow inspired me to really get into doing my art again and be really creative in my workbook. I have been impressively happy since.
   My jolly mood has additionally been the result of me going back to school, getting my mid term test results back and realising that I didn't do nearly as bad as I thought I would and mostly very good, so I'm pleased with that and can only hope that I keep it up.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

These are the pictures from the first hike of the CAS, the weather was hot, the people were tired and the mountain was..... well a MOUNTAIN. But even so we did, and furthermore, in good spirits.

The lovely wooded part of the mountain near the base, looked pretty but was difficult to climb. 

Again the wooded section, you can also see the markers that we were following in the bottom left.

Two fab second year friends, paused for a break about half way up.

 Slightly artistic picture of two of my German Co-years pondering the view, again about half way up.

 Taking a well deserved rest and enjoying the countryside.

Three of my 2nd year friends ( my Spanish roomie in the middle) celebrating the achievement at the top.

Seriously seriously high, a view across the mountain scape.

I have previously mentioned the Cross on the mountain that over looks Mostar, several of us spent one late morning hiking up to it and enjoying the view of our city

the beginning of the accent into the hills.

The Mostar cross, a hell of a lot bigger than it looks from Mostar.

The amazing view of Mostar.

The great cross and the light which illuminate it at night.

These photos are from my induction week when we went to visit the waterfalls, Kravice.

The beautiful waterfalls.

 Swimming in the warm summer pools, ducking under the falls and scrambling on the rocks. 

Attempting to make a pyramid.

Carrying people along the line, very UWC- using combine effort to achieve something which at first glance seems impossible. 

Another picture of the impressive and overwhelming beauty of this country.

So I am finally making my blog more visual and giving you all an insight into what life in Mostar looks like. These are just some general images from the beginning of my time here.

Nice cosy campfire on my second evening in Mostar.

                                      Mostar Gymnazia,  my school, at night and Spanish Square.

                         Mostar in summer when the the smoke from the forest fires enveloped the city.

My beautiful Brit Co-year in Old Town with Old Bridge in the background.

        Cooking soup in Susac ( pronounced sue-shats) with my Dutch Co-year, trying to get some nice vegetables into our systems.

  The Building next to Musala as the sun rises over the mountains.

                                                        Sat outside Musala in the evening.

The temperamental weather in Mostar, a view from my bedroom window.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Day 53: It appears that my attempts to keep a regular blog have failed somewhat; I am very sorry to have let myself and others down but I am glad to say that now my mid term exams are over I can again document my time here in Mostar.
   Well, the last few weeks have been excitingly eventful. I have had moments of extreme lows when the only thing that presented itself to me to do was sit on my bed and cry, but to balance that I have had times where the only thing I could possibly do to express my utter joy was dance all over the residence smiling uncontrollably at my bemused friends. The source of some of the unhappy spells I faced was partially the stress from organising project week. As part of the IB, and particularly in UWC, project week is an important time to develop yourself by doing a project of some kind, usually involving travelling. The project which I wanted to go on was a trip to Srebrenica, a city which was massively affected by the war, and helping the community there by building houses. Unfortunately there were some complications and too many people so I did not managed to go on the trip. Instead for my project week I will be staying in Moster and working with an NGO who wants to raise awareness human trafficking  We will be creating a performance and showing it on the streets of Mostar on Thursday.
   The causes of my happiness are numerous. I have been witness to some beautiful French films which were inspiring, laughed so hard with friends that my stomach has hurt, been academically challenged so that my mind is whirling, found a genius "charity" shop where i found some lovely jeans for just 7KM! And so many other tiny things that i couldn't possibly write them all, and i would not do them justice anyway.
    So, I will again strive to keep my blog updated with the fascinating things that are constantly going on around me, i only hope i can convey them with at least some of the impact they have here.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Day 35:  The late nights and early mornings are beginning to take their toll on me. Like most of the people here, when asked how I am I say "good but tired"; it's the generic reply when one is feeling generally a bit low but nothing is immediately the matter. The low feeling I am experiencing I would expect is a mix of stressful and difficult choices at school and a lack of chilling and sleeping time. At the moment I am changing options so much I have no idea what I want to do. I have until next Monday to finally decide what subjects I am officially doing in the IB. It's pretty intense and pressurising to know you haven't got long to make such important decisions when you are away from home so don't have the same support you might normally, you don't really know what each subject is like and you don't know what you might want to study in the future. This week my lessons have been changed to: Higher level history, English lit and visual arts; standard level biology, maths studies and Spanish ab initio. These subjects all seem interesting and potentially enjoyable but at the moment I am finding them difficult and a little stressful.
   All the things I have been talking about are, of course, common and to some extent to be expected, I am just a little taken off my feet by the change in my subjects, I think.
   Alongside of school I have been keeping myself busy with such things as running for student council, CAS activities of course and to be honest I'm not sure what else has been taking up my time.
   It was a huge shock to me to realise that the British Government can make such drastic changes in such a short time and me be completely unaware of them. A few days ago I had an unexpected surprise when I was trying to relax but catch up on the news at the same time by listening to the News Quiz, when i heard about the introduction of Ebacs and the fact that GCSEs are going out. It was not just the nature of the topic which caught me off guide but the fact that I could be so ignorant of what was going on in my own country. Well I guess that's a lesson for me, keep up to date, otherwise a lot can change with you being "blissfully" unaware.