Belgrade, Serbia

During our time in Kosovo, the organizers of the conference we attended made arrangements for our group to travel to Serbia for a day.  We boarded a small bus and drove around through Macedonia, avoiding the Kosovo-Serbia border, knowing the Serbs would not let us in from Kosovo.  Still, we were refused entry into Serbia at first, but we were lucky to have a Serbian friend who had arranged some important meetings for our group and talked the border guards into letting us through.

We arrived in Belgrade just before the sun set and we whisked off to a tour of the Church of Saint Sava.  We were privileged to have a tour of the crypt, which is not open to the public and whose walls are adorned lavishly in hand-painted frescos and 24-carat gold.

The next morning was blur of inspirational meetings.  We started with the Deputy Speaker of Parliament - a man with a clear passion for his country and for reconciliation, then we met Vuc Drašković - a peacemaker, revolutionary, and an author who is referred to as "the Nelson Mandela of Serbia.  I really enjoyed our time with him and felt so honored to hear some thoughts from a man with much wisdom.  Lastly, we visited the Royal Palace of Serbia and met Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine of Serbia who works tirelessly in several philanthropic causes, particularly for children, along with her husband, the Royal Prince.

We re-boarded the bus less than 24 hours after our arrival in Belgrade to head back to Kosovo with our heads spinning from the experiences packed into such a short period of time.