Against The War Mission Sarajevo
Against The War Mission Sarajevo My Guardian Angel Was Taking Care Of Me
Five years have passed since my last mission at war, the war in what used to be Yugoslavia, a European nation. Until recently, every time I thought about it (and I did it often), I could not explain it to myself, I could not find the reasons for so much courage and ability in preparing every mission, in all of its details, with the aim to see what the war was like and to bring humanitarian aid all the way to central Bosnia, right up inside Sarajevo; and then leaving and then starting again.
Every trip covered those towns devastated by bombings and often I would happen to be in those places during those moments. Grenades, shooting and explosions everywhere, panic stricken and unable to breathe from the fear .. and yet nothing happened to me. Something .... someone ... was taking care of me.
In hindsight today, I can explain these phenomena, these interventions, which during the course of over three and a half years, were fundamental for my life. I could feel, really feel, not only with my ears, but inside my heart, what I was supposed to do, suggestions on where to stop and if my enthusiasm tried to ignore it and keep going, all of a sudden I would feel exhausted, with no more strength left in me to continue.
I could feel the danger, a refusal ('STOP') to take certain roads and instead going through different places ('THIS WAY NOW'), only to then find out that on the 'original' route there had been a massive bombing. Again, one evening at a check-point, I was with a group of French people returning from Sarajevo, the military seized our passports, with a generic promise to return them to us the following day after the commanding officer had inspected them.
Once again I felt something ('DON'T STAY HERE'), we should not spend the night at that checkpoint as it was too dangerous (during the night the soldiers would get drunk and all sorts of things could happen).
I started screaming that they had no right to seize our passports and keep us here for the night, we who had already risked our lives bringing humanitarian aid, really did not need military personnel in defense of Sarajevo to put us through any additional danger. All of this was shouted in Italian, and despite the fact that the Bosnian language is considerably different from Italian, they understood perfectly what I was yelling about.
After a couple of hours of arguing, some military staff began to really wonder if we were some representatives of some embassy with some rights in Bosnia, to dare to protest so vehemently. They decided to take us to the commanding officer, and when a military soldier, armed to his teeth, sat between my friend and I and he ordered me to go to the barrack next door, I put a hand in my pocket where I had a knife and I was ready to use it, I was terrified that he would take us somewhere secluded to rob us of whatever little we had and then kill us. And at that time I felt as if my hand was being blocked by another hand ('NOT NECESSARY'), I felt a calm inside my heart and I was no longer afraid; later on after they apologized (eventually we understood that they thought we were from some embassy), we declined their invitation to stay at a hotel, and we left with our passports in our hands.
On another mission, on mount Igman, the only access road to Sarajevo, barely more than a mountain dirt road, the besiegers were shooting at anything that moved, often the trail was used to replenish the cities with artillery and anybody who wanted to cross it, thanks to the darkness, was forced to turn out any source of light, even the tiniest (especially the brake lights). It was raining, the vehicle in front of us would turn the light on every now and then because the rain had made the road even darker, even more dangerous, and you could fall off the slope. Then a fierce bombing started, my friend John and I were screaming, we turned the lights on to escape more quickly from that rainfall of grenades and shootings.
We were shaking from fear, I could see myself blowing up in the air, I wanted to be sitting nice and calm in my own home, never again, never again. Despite everything, nothing hit us, everywhere around us we heard roaring and shattering but we managed ... to escape unhurt.
But these feelings, I was not the only one to have them, I remember when there were more than 1500 of us, from all over the world, protesting against the war in Sarajevo; after spending a few days waiting near a small town that we necessarily had to cross over where it was continually being bombarded, a third of the people left because there was not the minimum (minimum?) level of safety.
The following day the organizers decided to go back to stage a symbolic protest in Mostar. I felt that no, I could not let go like this, I felt a renewed strength inside me, ('KEEP GOING, HAVE COURAGE'), and together with another 64 people, of all nationalities, we proceeded with a new strength.
This new strength penetrated and stimulated some of us at the time, every part of our journey, every condition, was decided by several of us, everyone felt able to take on the responsibility to decide what to do next, at a certain time, in a certain place, just like when I had said 'let's not spend the night in Zenica, to then wait for the UN to give us authorization, it's us, we are here; and tomorrow morning we will try to enter by ourselves'. This is what we were going to do, and this is what we did.
Once in Sarajevo we were welcomed very warmly, us, who were against the war, who were going to be Bosnians-like too if only for a few days, we who were exposed to bombs and were without the minimum safety conditions. At least for a few days we stopped the war. And once again I entered Sarajevo with all the humanitarian help and once again I escaped unharmed.
Now I know what it was that took care of me and supported me, not what but who .. its name is Isabella and it's my Guardian Angel. I feel her and all of a sudden I feel calm, with HER, I can do anything. We will do many more things together, I can feel it.
Title Against The War Mission Sarajevo My Guardian Angel Was Taking Care Of Me
Choose English version in www.leparoledegliangeli.com (the words of the Angels)