One of the most memorable summers of my life- 2 months volunteering in Brcko

I have recently returned from 2 months volunteering at a local youth centre in Brčko in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the European Solidarity Corps volunteering for peace program. Despite having researched Brčko prior to travelling I honestly didn’t really know what to expect from the placement– however it has undoubtedly been one of the most memorable summers of my life and I feel really lucky to have worked with such nice people, met such friendly locals, and experienced life in a totally new country.
One of the highlights of the experience for me was the weeklong samba camp held at Pecka which is an outdoor centre in Western Bosnia. The centre was situated in the mountains and surrounded by gorgeous nature, crystal clear waters, and seemingly endless greenery. It was the first time a trip of this sort had been held here and so the twenty Brčko locals and I didn’t know what to expect!
However, we soon fell into a great daily routine, creating samba music together as a group in the morning, and then exploring, hiking, or playing board games in the afternoon. It was the perfect opportunity to get to know a real range of people and I feel really fortunate to have made some really nice friends during this trip.
One afternoon a few of us ventured out for a walk in search of a swimming pool which was rumoured to be up in the hills. We found it and spent a lovely afternoon relaxing poolside and taking a much-needed break from the heat. There were also a group of men up there who were having a huge hog roast lunch and in the true spirit of Balkan hospitality we were invited to eat, drink and chat with them. I found it amazing how gracious and generous people were, not just these men, but in general most of the people I met during my time in Brčko.
I feel really privileged to have been able to undertake this placement and experience a true Bosnian summer!

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Published by AsfarEurope in London, UK - ISSN 2055-7957 (Online)