Since weıre on winter break, I thought it might be a good time to reflect on
winter in Serbia. It certainly is different than Mali, where the coldest I
recalled was around 60°. In Tunis, it never snowed, but winter was rainy,
cool, and damp, making it seem cooler than the low 50°ıs. Iım sure glad that
itıs not quite as cold as a Wisconsin winter, which can sometimes hover
I will have to say that when it has snowed here, it has been some of the
most beautiful winter wonderlands I have ever seen. The moist snow clung to
every twig, telephone wire, shrub, and even the polygonal spaces of chicken
wire fence. In my backyard, my poor bulb plants (who had sprouted in late
fall due to some warm weather) were buried by a thick blanket of fluffy
snow. In some ways I was glad that the narrow road up to school had not been
plowed, as its whiteness completed the scene. At the lower school, the
custodians/gardeners were outside, shoveling. On my way to school, I walked
past the African Museum. In the middle of the sea of white was a small
African hut with a conical roof. It truly was an odd scene! As I entered
through the wrought-iron gates of the upper school, I was treated to another
beautiful scene. The campusı many trees were each delicately covered by a
layer of snow. The pine trees hung, weighted down by the snow.
Last Friday the upper school had a contest at lunch hour. Each class (8A,
7B, etc.) assembled a team of 6 students and the homeroom teacher. Their
task was to create a snow sculpture, using 7 or less props/tools. As a
³judge² I was to determine the top three snow creations, rating them on
their creativity and teamwork. Creations ranged from the morbid 6Aıs
cemetery (complete with ketchup for blood), to a porcupine. It was fun to
see the kids enthusiastically working together as a team, transforming the
snow into clever pieces.
The area where I live is an older section of Belgrade called Senjak. The
roads are very narrow, with many roads being only one-way. Those that are
2-way typically only have enough room for small cars to pass by each other.
Sidewalks are not always present, or are occupied by parked vehicles. As the
sidewalks are not shoveled, they quickly turn to icy paths. Large mounds of
snow piled up on the edges often leave the tire path as the only safe place
to walk. If that wasnıt enough challenge, add steep hills. The one I have to
walk down for grocery shopping is cobblestone, which gets very slippery.
One Saturday evening, a Serbian teaching couple took me to the ski lodge in
a nearby section of Belgrade (whose name I canıt pronounce) for a nice hot
drink with a great view. Even though it was dark (few lights), you could see
kids tobogganing. There was no ski lift, but many skiers used the rope to
pull themselves up to the top. It was nice seeing parents and kids enjoying
some leisure time together. Iım sure it was a stark contrast to the scene of
Belgrade during the NATO bombing.
Now that most of the snow has melted, Iım ready for spring. I look forward
to visiting the countryside in its glories of spring growth. Such beauties
of Godıs creation will no doubt inspire me to do some artwork of the region.