Monday, December 21, 2015

Making Sarma!

I was out of commission for the first part of the week with a bad cold.  I rested up and was grateful it wasn't Christmas week.  On Thursday, we had to go back to the MUP (police station), and work on getting our visa's.  It's been a long and complicated process, but I think it is all taken care of now.   Good thing because we only have ten days before our application for visa's expire.  What happens then?  I don't know, and luckily we won't find out...
Mira, the master chef!

The sarma is finished!
On Thursday we met Mira at Kaufland's to buy the ingredients to make sarma for our Christmas party on Friday.  Sarma is a traditional dish using pickled cabbage leaves and stuffing them with a seasoned beef/pork mixture.  It is delicious and Mira promised me that she would show me how to make it.  We bought all the goods, and walked back to the apartment,  where we met the sister missionaries at the door. We put on our aprons and got to work.  It was fun listening to Christmas music and spending time with my new prijatelji.  Then came the hard part.  Wrapping the meat mixture in the cabbage leaves was tricky.  Mira had to show us (repeatedly) how to wrap them so the meat wouldn't fall out.  I finally caught on and proudly showed her my finished product.  She looked at it and said, "Bravo".  Ah, success!  We ended up having enough sarma to feed an army.

Karlovac Christmas Party
We had our Christmas party on Saturday night.  There was good food, good company, a wonderful spiritual presentation by the Elders, and fun games provided by the Sister missionaries.  As we sat in the chapel singing Christmas hymns in Hrvatski, I felt an intense love for the people in this little Branch so far away from my home.  We think of our family and friends back home, but know that
this is where we need to be right now.  We love interacting with the people of Karlovac and they appreciate our efforts in speaking their language.  We continue to struggle with casing, gendering, conjugating, pronunciation, and proper accent... but we are making progress...

There are ice rinks all over Croatia.  It's not cold enough to freeze ice, so they have cooling coils set up under the rink, to freeze the water.  We have one here in Karlovac, and there is a sweet one in Zagreb.  There were quite a few people skating today in Zagreb.  It made me think of when I was younger and every neighborhood had a rink.  Kids went skating every day after school, no matter how cold it was.
Ice rink in Zagreb

We had to take the car in to Zagreb for an oil change.  EK dropped me off at Metro to do some Christmas shopping.  The car appt. was at 10:00 a.m. and we thought it would take about an hour or so.  At about 1:00,  I began to wonder what was going on.  EK has a phone, but I do not.  There is no way for us to communicate when we are separate.  It got to be 2:00, and finally I went to the front desk and asked to use the phone.  She didn't speak much English, but she understood what I meant.  EK said they were finishing up and that he would come soon.  He came to pick me up at 2:30.  That's a four hour oil change.  I don't think their definition of an appointment is the same as ours.  We had a good laugh over that one.  We ended up going over to the Arena Mall and we came across some awesome Lego models.  I decided to sit with them a while..

Taking a break with some friends!

We have two new missionaries in Karlovac.  They are Sister Yardley, and Elder Poore.  We are happy that they here in time to spend Christmas with us!

The word of the week for our unici:  Stretan Božić, which means Merry Christmas!

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