And so our Croatia trip comes to a close. Friday Steve taught his last class. I worked in the library for a few more hours and tried to leave my various piles well-labeled for the next guy. Deborah and Joska were the two people I worked with most during these two weeks. Both were here when I was two years ago. Deborah was a volunteer; now she is paid to run the library and is proving very competent even if she doesn’t have formal training. Joska will be 70 his next birthday. He has volunteered here for years. It’s hard to convince him that we don’t need to keep every single book that passes through our hands even if we have other copies and this one is falling to shreds. He is too accustomed to times when evangelical literature was scarce. But he is faithful—in the library at 6 AM to avoid the crowds on the trolley. How many volunteers do you know who show up daily at 6? He goes home at lunch time.
We were regular patrons of this bakery, buying breakfast rolls and crusty buns for our evening meal. They were very gracious as we pointed out what we wanted.
Maia drove us to the airport in Zagreb three hours from Osijek. She too started as a volunteer and has served faithfully for years. Her husband is a Canadian with fluent Croatian added to his fluent French. He works an IT job in the city as well as managing the schools computers, including the library.
I am writing from the Frankfort airport. As I got my breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express I felt a hand on my back. Since I had just seen Steve go a different direction, I knew it wasn’t him. I turned to find Manfred Kohl, a long-time colleague with Overseas Council. He is here for meetings and it was good to have a few minutes to catch up before we caught the airport shuttle. At the airport we separated since we are on different airlines (Thanks again, Becky and Kelvin!). We’ll meet up tonight in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, very ready for home.
|After a while, all airports look the same. Charlotte may be an exception to this with their white rocking chairs all over the place.|