Monday, April 19, 2004

One Month Later

It has been a little over a month now since the Kosovo riots.  The road in front of UN MHQ opened last week and things appear to have returned to least on the surface.  I like to think of Kosovo as a duck on the pond.  Everything looks calm on top but underneath, the feet are moving a mile a minute.  The checkpoint basically in my front yard remains and appears to be a semi-permanent fixture at the entrance to Gracanica.  I wouldn't be surprised if the checkpoint remains until the end of the summer.  The road closes from 8pm to 6am with razor-wire dragged across the road.
Tragically, three international police officers were shot and killed (11 others injured) in a shoot-out in the Mitrovica Detention Center, allegedly over a discussion about Iraq.  Two female American CivPols were killed and the Jordanian that was accused of starting the gun-fight...the 11 injured include one Austrian and the rest are Americans.

Monday, April 5, 2004

Toilet Paper Express :)

It isn't everyday that you see a police escort for toilet paper.  No, I'm not joking.  The road in front of  UN MHQ (Mission HQ) has been blocked to non-UN traffic since the 17th.  The contractor's van carrying toilet paper for HQ had a police escort this morning as I was coming to work.  It must have been VIP (very important paper!!!)  

I spent the weekend doing my spring cleaning and planting flowers on my balcony.  You wouldn't believe how dirty my walls get during the winter with those wood burning stoves.  Amazingly enough, the original color of my TV is black :-P~  My back is complaining this morning but the house is clean!!!

The weather is good with temperatures in the 50's.  I was able to open up the house and air-out after being shut up all winter.  I love the transition from winter to spring...taking a walk and breathing the fresh, brisk air...seeing the flowers coming up and the trees budding...planting a new garden...the newborn animals :)  I took a walk into Gracanica yesterday down to the monastery and took some pictures that I will upload when I get them off my camera :)

Thursday, April 1, 2004

Cabin Fever Galore!

Things are quiet in Kosovo with continuing vehicle restrictions and checkpoints.  The Swedish soldiers continue to ask me if I am Albanian or Serbian.  The other night when they asked to see my ID, the Swedish soldier was very taken aback when I showed him my UN ID.  He said "Oh, you work for UNMIK!"  

Many of us are suffering from cabin fever now.  We've been stranded in Pristina for nearly three weeks.  The DOA (Director of Administration) keeps sending out situation updates stating that the airport and border crossings are open...but we can't get to the border unless we take a taxi some 60 kilometers!  I will try to alleviate some of my cabin fever this weekend by planting my garden...I just hope that I'll be able to stay in Kosovo to see the results :)