Walk in the front door of the Stop Caffee in Livno, Bosnia, the first thing you notice is the smoke. It reminded me of the Last Chance Bar and the Town Tavern in my hometown of Bay City, Michigan. Everybody smoked.
It was Palm Sunday morning when my son-in-law and I sidled up to the bar where they serve Turkish coffee that coud kickstart a Mac Truck and homemade honey brandy that was amazingly good. I really enjoyed the conversations with the guys sitting next to me.
I learned about daily life in a country that 20 years ago was embroiled in a war that was later described as one of the worst genocides in recent memory. The country had also broken away from its Communist past and has been struggling to find a new identity.
What I noticed most was a gray, gauzy filter that seemed hanging over everything. Unemployment is way north of half and confidence in government doesn't exist. There's not much to look forward to.
A couple of the guys were interested in the Cadilac assembly plant in our town and the plant where they make the GM CUV's. Cars seem to be a universal language.
Why didn't we go to church? There were no choices. I wonder how many people in the Stop knew the story of Palm Sunday and what happened in the week after. I'd be anxious to go back next year with a bunch of palm branches and see if people ask. I'd love to share the story where real hope for the future comes from.