Words of Tolerance and Understanding

“Young people, you have the ability to remake or re-imagine this world.”

“It is easier to start wars than to end them.”

“It is easier to blame others than to look inward.”

“It is easier to see what is different about someone, than to find the things we share.

“We should choose the right path, just not the easy path.”

“Do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”

Obama's speech in Cairo - June 2009

Obama spoke on June 4, 2009 at Cairo University in Egypt. What an honest and inspiring speech! I put some pearls of wisdom above that are very applicable to our International School of Belgrade community.

You can listen to the speech in its entirety here.

Humor in the Neighborhood Part II

This is another sign in our neighborhood. On a street that runs perpendicular to our street in our neighborhood of Senjak, I saw this street sign. Since the street signs in Belgrade are all in the Cyrillic script, this will take some translating to get the message.

Serbia used two types of alphabets. The one above is Cyrillic, which is the Eastern part of Serbian culture. They also use a corresponding Latin alphabet. The first line in the sign is “Ulica” which means “Street” in English. The name of the street is “Ljube Jovanovića” which is a Serbian name.

Some of the letters have been blocked out by spray paint. What is left are the letters, “OBANA” which is very close to “OBAMA.” I noticed this was done in October, just before the elections. US President Barack Obama is very popular here in Serbia as I blogged about in November. There is some Obama supporter here in Senjak. At least the sign will be good for at least four years.

A New Era Begins

Shown above is my friend Ethan in an US Embassy-issued Uncle Sam outfit. We had an enjoyable night at the Ambassador’s party for election night. We only stayed until around 1:00 AM as the very first results were coming in (Kentucky & Vermont). It was a school night so we couldn’t stay longer. We found a sitter earlier in the evening.

As I posted earlier, the vote at the party was a landslide. My real vote, absentee I did in my home county of Iron in the state of Michigan helped Obama win by 133 votes. The final tally in Iron County was 3,080 – 2,947. An amazing 7 counties in my region of Michigan, the Upper Peninsula, went for Obama this time, finally making Michigan, truly a blue state.

I met the Ambassador, Cameron Munter, who is a nice guy. The Prince of Serbia was there, as well as some other big wigs in the country. We laughed and had a great time. I awoke to hear Obama’s speech, wonderful! He made me proud to be an American. I really hope that this will move all of us to be better people and begin again to be a beacon for the world for individual freedoms and excellence.

Kirsten, Janna, & Nadia With the B92 Cameras
Kirsten, Janna, & Nadia With the B92 Cameras

Serbian President Tadić had these things to say:

“Your election paves the way for opening a new chapter in the long history of relations between Serbia and the United States, during most of which we have been allies and friends,” the Serbian president’s message read, Beta reported.

In his words, Serbia is staunchly determined to improve bilateral relations with the U.S, while contributing to stability and the European future of the Balkans.

Tadić added that he hoped the new American policy would demonstrate more understanding for Serbia, which is defending its legitimate interests in a peaceful and diplomatic way.