“Hello my name is Philippe, I am 27 years old, I am French and at the moment I work in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


I have been living in Bosnia and Herzegovina for five months and more specifically in Sarajevo. I live in a shared house with my coworkers. The house is located in the Bjelave district, access to it requires climbing a steep slope. However, once the climb is done you are rewarded with a beautiful view of part of the city as well as the reliefs that surround Sarajevo. During the day it is possible to contemplate the mountainous reliefs coloured with emerald green and decorated with houses which, once nightfall, illuminates the city with miles of lights.

As for my work, I work for BRAVO, a nongovernmental organisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. BRAVO has several ongoing projects, my job is to assist other nongovernmental organizations working in a refugee camp. There are two near Sarajevo, one for men only and the other for families, women, unaccompanied children, etc. I’ve been in the men’s camp since I arrived. It’s an enriching experience where we learn a lot about others, their way of life, the reasons why they flee their country of origin. We also learn about ourselves, our abilities, our personal or collective limits. Personal in the sense that, for example, it is possible for me to remain enduring despite the pressure. Collectives, am I able to support my team and other organizations when they require my help?


Outside of work, my job ends every day, off weekends, around 4 p.m,I go home. When I arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina, personally, I fell in love with Sarajevo as I discovered a new lifestyle. If I were to sum up my feelings towards the Sarajevo people in a few words, I would describe them as generous, courteous and trustworthy. It is easy to feel the multicultural impact on the city and its history. On one hand there is the center, modern and full of life with its giant screens and the population that keeps pouring in. On the other hand, near my home, you have the old town, very touristy and pleasant to visit in winter and especially in spring. Personally, I spend a lot of time in the old town to eat and order local dishes such as qevap. I go to the center to shop and go to the gym.


Having mentioned the dishes, in Bosnia and Herzegovina the people love meat. Very good quality, you can find it in almost any dish always with this exquisite and tasty taste. Bosnians are predominantly Muslim, meat is halal. Its price per kilo is very low especially compared to France. A very advantageous value for money that allows you to taste tasty dishes every day. Bosnian cuisine is one of the best I’ve eaten and I recommend tourists to try as many dishes as possible during their stay.


Compared to France, and precisely Lyon, my city of origin, life seems more affordable to me. What surprised me the most was the relaxed atmosphere of the city. The very recent past with the siege of Sarajevo and the wars have not tainted the joie de vivre of the Bosnians. A story I recommend discovering. Personally, I prefer Sarajevo to Lyon, probably because of the size of the latter and the difficulties I have encountered during my life. In Sarajevo everything is simpler, affordable, I often found myself walking around the city just to go sightseeing. My stay is not yet over. I still have other topics to talk about, regions to discover, countries to explore. I will come back to write again in order to establish a final and full balance sheet when my stay comes to an end.“

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