Family Journal: March 4-6, 2011

We had a nice weekend in Belgrade. The snow was melting during the day so we were making Easter Island-like snow balls. I see the appeal of ancient people and moving huge objects.

On Friday night Nadia and I went out to dinner at the Iguana Restaurant. The restaurant is on the Sava River in a refurbished warehouse/dock. There are a couple of restaurants, clubs, and shops nearby. They had live jazz music which was a great way to spend a Friday evening.

We then went and saw the Academy Award Winning “The King’s Speech” after dinner. I struggled with stuttering for much of my youth so I could really empathize with King George. Stuttering or stammering is very misunderstood. It is hard to describe to someone that never had the problem. In the movie, King George’s therapist worked on “rhythym” by getting him to sing or use profanity to gain fluency.

I went to speech therapy for years in my schooling, and was helped by Mrs. Kathy Campaign, the speech therapist at my local school. She got me to speak slowly and read aloud to gain this ryhthm. Even today, I read aloud before I speak publicly to help me. I read where most people outgrow this and I am glad that I did, but I still have to be aware of my speech, especially when I am nervous, or tired. I am still amazed that I do a lot of public speaking in my job. The movie cut out the real bad stammers of King George to make the film bearable. It gave a truthful view of stuttering and I am glad the film won. I would also like to thank Mrs. Campaign for her work with me. I saw her about ten years ago when subbed at my old high school and it was good to be able to thank her in person. She is now retired, but she really helped me. I still use her techniques today. I am happy that none of my children are struggling with it.

On Saturday we had that Balkan/Slavic/Eastern European treat called “sarma,” which are cabbage rolls. The Serbs got the dish from the Ottoman Turks. In southeastern Europe, they use sauer kraut, or fermented cabbage instead of regular cabbage. Inside is a combination of beef, bacon, and rice. It is served with sour cream and it is a winter and Christmas dish in Serbia. I love it and our friends Claudiu and Vesna, invited us over for Vesna’s Romanian mother’s version. Absolutely delicious!

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