Sunday, April 24, 2016

Beautiful Montenegro Springtime!

What a beautiful time of year to be living in Montenegro!  The trees are full of blossoms and gaining new leaves.  The rocky mountains have turned green from the rain and warmer weather.

During the final week of March, we participated in a wheelchair training with specialists from Salt Lake City.  The week long training was held in the Red Cross facility at Sutomore on the coast.  Thirteen participants from all over Montenegro came to receive training on evaluating and measuring recipients for new wheelchairs provided by LDS Charities.

This was the first time in the wheelchair program that in-country people were prepared to train their fellow countrymen.

At the conclusion of the training, a closing ceremony was held with President and Sister Grant and the President of the Montenegro Red Cross.

During the month of April, we have been busy trying to finish and close several projects before we return to America.  We were able to visit the main school in Pluzine to celebrate with the Head Mistress and some of the students.  LDS Charities provided desktop computers for their lab and laptop computers for the teachers to use at the outlying country schools.

On the way to Pljevlja to close the homeless shelter project, we drove through the beautiful Tara Canyon.  Our souvenir for this fun trip was a flat tire from one of many rocks falling onto the road from the steep mountains.  We're always amazed by the crystal clear blue-green water in every river.  Due to lack of snow during the winter, the Tara River is lower than normal.

 LDS Charities was able to provide new windows and some renovation to the inside of the homeless shelter in Pljevlja, which is the only shelter in Montenegro.  This was a great improvement to the facility, but there is still much to be done.

One of the unusual pine trees growing out of the rocks in the deep canyons of Montenegro have a flat top.

On our return trip from Pljevlja to Podgorica, we had to stop and take a break by the beautiful Tara River again.  This was a peaceful, quiet spot this time of year....not bad for a "selfie".

We were excited to have the new Day Care Center in Podgorica open.  LDS Charities was able to provide special learning toys and supplies for the children to use.

LDS Charities provided the computers for a children's reading room for the National Library in Niksic.  Also donated was a laptop, project and screen for cultural and social seminars.  The first event held hosted over six hundred people.

On the return trip from Niksic to Podgorica, we decided to visit Ostrog Monastery.  This Monastery is built into the rock and is located on a high mountain cliff.  It can be seen for many miles in all directions.  Many people throughout Europe visit Ostrog during certain times of the year.  The road and the scenery were breathtaking.

Just before returning home to America, we made a final trip to the beautiful Montenegrin Coast.  We visited both Kotor and Budva old town "stari grad", and enjoyed a wonderful spring day together.

A beach not far from Budva old town.  Notice the beautiful clear water in the Adriatic Sea.

Old town Budva from a distance.  Most of the old town areas by the Adriatic Sea are right on the
coast with huge walls built for protection.

As we reluctantly came to the conclusion of our wonderful day together on the coast, this was our parting view of the Adriatic Sea.  This is one of the many sights and experiences that we will miss as we conclude our Montenegro mission adventure!

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