Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Sizzling Month of July

The first part of July we were able to go to the coast again to the Municipality of Risan, which is on the Bay of Kotor.  LDS Charities partnered with an elderly care center for a project, and we wanted to see how things were going.  This cruise ship was parallel parked in Kotor.  Another was anchored our in the Bay.  As can be imagined, there were tourists everywhere.

This pretty flowering bush was in the gardens of the center.  The coast area is full of many beautiful flowers and bushes.

A few days later, we were able to visit Bar and do some wheelchair recepient visits with the Red Cross.  We never turn down the opportunity to visit the coast.

We celebrated the 4th of July in Montenegro by walking past the American Embassy.

It was emotional for us to see "old glory" blowing in the breeze after serving in Europe for eight months.

During July, we were able to make a visit to the Women's Center at Camp Konik.  LDS Charities has donated sewing machine, sewing supplies and chairs for the women in the camp to use during their weekly activity day.  They were very excited to show us some of their creations, including the skirt that was made for me.

We had a fun Branch activity where we played "minute to win it" games.  This contest involved sucking Skittles with a straw and placing them in cups according to colors.  My sucker was not working very well.  Nina won by a landslide!

A new wheelchair project has been approved for 2015-2016.  This will involve a week long training program in the spring.  We also had a project approved that will involve LDS Charities working with a pedriatric surgeon in the Montenegro Children's Hospital in Podgorica.

One very, very hot Friday evening we joined the elders at city center with a street display.  We provided pictures and a poster showing the importance of happy families.  The elders were able to talk to many people.  We gave them moral support and handed out coloring books.

The third week of July, we were able to visit a senior citizen's "club" in the Municipality of Plav with the Red Cross.  This club which will provide activities, medical support, and friendship was newly organized in April with the help of the Red Cross and other volunteers.  We are hoping to be able to do a project with them to provide furnishings and supplies for their donated meeting room.  Everything they have now is borrowed.

This little stream, which can become a big river, runs through Plav.  The entire river bed is lined with rock and cement - lots of man hours.

Plav is a pretty little village nestled in the mountains on the shore of Lake Plav.  We really enjoyed our visit here.  It was such a peaceful and serene place, and the temperature was wonderful - 72, compared to Podgorica's 105!

This modern monastery was being built in Plav.  It is very different from the many old monasteries that are found throughout Montenegro.

The Moraca Monastery is an example of the older buildings.  It was founded in 1252 and is a stone's throw from the Morace River which eventually runs through Podgorica.

The drive to Plav was 200 km (about 120 miles) but took us almost four hours.  Thank goodness the scenery was so beautiful!  This is a little farming community built on the side of the mountain.

These small neat haystacks are scattered throughout the countryside.  We think they are small because the hay is racked and stacked by hand.

This little Orthodox church was almost hidden by the lush green trees surrounding it.  It was just outside of Berane.

This is our "office" where many great and important decisions are made and lots of computer work is done!  We do have an office, but it is small and very hot.  We just decided that we would sooner work together at the table in our living room where the air conditioning feels just great.

Even though it is very hot outdoors, we are starting to see trucks like this one hauling wood for the coming winter. This very, very old but tough looking truck was parked near our apartment building (and the police station) for a couple of days.

Even though it is July, we see big piles of leaves all around the city.  It is so hot and has not rained for two months that the trees are all stressed and losing their leaves.  We thought because Podgorica has so many trees that we would see a beautiful fall - not we're not so sure.  The trees many all be bare by October.