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Preparations for the school construction
Thursday, 04 June 2009 Written by fra Ivica Perić

father Ivica in actionDear everyone, I have announced it for a long time, and now I can finally tell you the great news – preparations for the construction of the high school have begun! First, I rolled up my sleeves, and my parishioners simply watched. Then, armed with tools, I went to the building site, and my parishioners followed that too with almost disinterested gazes. Then I took the chain-saw in my hands and, like a lumberjack, I started cutting down trees. Then my parishioners started wondering what I, the hard-headed Bosnian, was up to again. They started gathering around me and moving from their observation posts only when a tree would start falling in their direction. At the end of work the first day, many parishioners had gathered. At one point they came to me and asked me: “Why are you working and why are you cutting down trees?”

people observingAnd they also admitted that they did not want to disturb me, as they thought God ordered me to do that. This made me laugh from the bottom of my heart!  Firstly, because I always have to inspire them by example, and secondly, because they are experts in making justifications and excuses for avoiding work. However, I was ready for their tactics, and I immediately offered them a deal. I suggested that if they gather the fallen trees, clear the land for the school and take the gathered branches to our vocational school, CFJ Padri Vjeko, in exchange I would offer everyone who helps to be excused from paying tuition for their children in the following trimester of the school year.

people helpingIf only you could have seen how the hill got busy with work! They spread out like ants from the building site to the school and suddenly there were hundreds of them! And we were all happy! All this not only hastened the completion of the work, it also interested the locals in active participation in the school construction and additionally, it got them interested in education.  Furthermore, it also guaranteed a warm meal for the students of our vocational school since the wood in the school will be used exclusively in the school kitchen to prepare lunch and dinner at CFJ Padri Vjeko School.  I also let them take some wood home, so all the parishioners will have fuel for their fires to make lunch and dinner for the next several months. The land is not yet level, so the preparation of the terrain will take a little more time.

people helping location

These initiated works also garnered much interest and brought the highest dignitaries to our parish after a long time. We were honoured with a visit by the bishop and the mayor of nearby Gitarama  who are thrilled with what is happening. Moreover, they have guaranteed the future high school a respectable status in the educational system of this small and unfortunate country which has suffered greatly from the effects of the genocide ten years ago. What began as a dream has turned into reality!

Translated by:
Edited by: Valerie K. Ken

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