The Balkans: Culture, History & Service
A community service opportunity in Bosnia and Croatia
June 22-30, 2020
Presented by D-E 360° International in partnership with Rustic Pathways
Explore the rich history of the Balkans region by visiting small towns and big cities. Meet local people and learn their stories along the way. Engage with history, past, and present, and learn about the complexities of this crossroads of civilization. Contribute to meaningful community service in areas still recovering from years of war and conflict. Encounter local traditions and sample cuisine from the Dalmatian Coast to the Bosnian Mountains.
Chaperones: Daniel Carragher & Diane Christian
Trip Highlights include (see below for complete, daily itinerary):
- Exploring Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, culturally diverse towns, where East meets West and the major religions of the world are represented.
- Visiting the bazaars of Baščaršija to sample dishes influenced by the Ottoman empire and shopping for souvenirs in its cobblestone alleys.
- Getting to know Mostar, and sites that bear witness to the history of the Balkans. Mostar is a beautiful city with bridges and valleys. Learn about traditional life from local performers, participate in a coffee workshop, and hear local staff’s personal histories.
- Touring the medieval town of Pocitel, Doviđenja and Zbogom.
- Traveling to Split to experience history firsthand through the ages including influences of the Romans, Venetians, Austrians, and Communist that once ruled this small coastal town.
- Hiking to the top of the Marjan Hill and sample the food of the Dalmatian coast and enjoy an evening visit to Diocletian’s Palace.
- Supporting the local community through community service initiatives: Partner with a local grassroots NGO who help support local schools. Work alongside local students. Get your hands dirty as you work on sustainable community service projects to build infrastructure and promote peace in the region.
- Participating in Rustic Ties, a unique and powerful activity that allows students to capture the memories and learning moments of their program to process and share with their communities back home.
Note: D-E Upper School students are invited to learn even more about the trip at an Informational Meeting with chaperones Dr. Carragher and Ms. Christian, on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, from 12:30 – 1:30 PM in Hulst House (Leggett Hall).
Total trip costs $5,550
Early registration is encouraged and allows us to guarantee D-E 360° offerings as soon as enrollment is sufficient.
Registration deadline is December 1, 2019.
A $1,000 non-refundable deposit must be submitted at the time of registration. Balance due by March 1, 2020. Cost does not include trip cancellation insurance.
Payment, forms, and actions needed:
- To register, click here
- To download the D-E 360° Travel Application Form 2019-2020 (PDF), click here.
- Submit the D-E 360° Travel Application and a $1,000 non-refundable deposit by December 1, 2019. (Checks should be made payable to Dwight-Englewood School and submitted to the D-E 360° Office in Leggett 001)
- To download the The Balkans Community Service Trip Flyer (PDF), click here.
Day 1: Welcome to the Balkans! Arrive into Sarajevo International Airport (SJJ) and meet your Program Leaders who will be with you for the duration of the program. Head to the hotel and settle in, relaxing after your long flight, and join the group for an orientation discussion about the week ahead, expectations for your adventure, and an introduction to the local culture. Take a walking tour of one of the most culturally diverse towns in the world, where East meets West and the major religions of the world are represented just blocks apart. Visit the bazaars of Baščaršija to sample dishes influenced by the Ottoman empire and shop for souvenirs in its cobblestone alleys.
Day 2: Explore Sarajevo Drive to Sarajevo, the capital and business hub of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Spend the day learning all about the siege of Sarajevo during the recent conflict in the 1990’s and see the tunnel dug out during the war to serve as its only lifeline. In the afternoon, take a short drive to the town of Mostar which will be your base for the next few days. Optional Activities: Cable car ride up Trebević mountain to get panoramic views of the city. Multiple museums to dive deeper into the history of the recent conflicts.
Day 3: Cultural Workshops in Mostar Get to know Mostar and visit sites that bear witness to the turbulent cultural history of the Balkans. Mostar is a beautiful city with bridges and valleys, and it is hard to imagine the recent wars until you hear it from community members that lived through it. Learn about traditional life from local performers, participate in a coffee workshop, and hear our local staff share their personal histories and visions for the future.
Day 4: Adventure Across the Bosnian Countryside In the morning visit the beautiful surrounding countryside of Herzegovina and visit a traditional Dervish house, the home of Islamic mystics, where a mountain spring births the Buna River. Visit the medieval town of Pocitelj and climb to the top of its fort which long ago protected the entrance to the valley below. Take in the spectacular views out over Mostar and the Neretva Valley. Spend the afternoon soaking in the sun and taking a dip into the refreshing lakes below Kravice waterfalls. Optional Activities: Kayaking in Trebizat River (weather and season permitting, late April – late September)
Day 5 & 6 – Support the Local Community around Mostar After gaining knowledge about the local culture and history, it is time to help support the local community through community service initiatives. Partner with a local grassroots NGO who help support local schools. Work alongside local students and get your hands dirty as you work on sustainable community service projects to build infrastructure and promote peace in the region.
Day 7: Travel to Split Learn about Split’s history through the ages and see the influences of the Romans, Venetians, Austrians, and Communist that once ruled this small coastal town. Wander its historic markets where people buy fresh seafood and produce to create handmade pasta and risottos. Hike to the top of the Marjan Hill for a panoramic view of the city and harbor. Sample the food of the Dalmatian coast and enjoy an evening visit to Diocletian’s Palace. This structure, built as a retirement home for a Roman emperor, is now enmeshed with the cobblestone streets of Split’s old city. At the end of each program, students reflect on their experiences and the issues they engaged with, and talk about how to apply this new understanding to their own worlds. During or after their closing discussion, groups participate in Rustic Ties, a unique and powerful activity that allows students to capture the memories and learning moments of their program to process and share with their communities back home.
Day 8: Doviđenja and Zbogom, Balkans! Enjoy a relaxed morning in Split and leave for your flight back home. Your Program Leaders will take you to the airport for your departure as you say goodbyes and reflect on your adventure.
An Important Note about Schedule Changes: D-E 360° reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external operators or partner organizations, changes due to weather or safety concerns, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of a new activity for an old activity. The itinerary shown here provides our best projection of the daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.
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