Volunteers Information Pakrac New Years Special Volunteers accomodation Office Prilaz Baruna Trenka 19 Strossmajerova 63 (former Partisanski Put) 43550 Pakrac Croatia Fax: +385(0)41-4684007 (indicate: "Volunteers camp") Email: PAKRAC.DA@ZAMIR-ZG.comlink.de Winter Break until January 12th 1994! Situation in the Town In the last two weeks Pakrac has been considerably louder. With elections in the neighboring Kraijina, more small arms fire exchanges as well as isolated and infrequent explosions can be heard. With the onset of the holidays, we anticipate [... CENSORED ...] But tbe mood here is festive, and a general feeling of the season's warmth among e l ocals as well as the volunteers is apparent. The Christmas Games Day saw an organized dance, singing, readings from children, and a local four-piece string band, which drew a large crowd beside the Pakra River. Life of the Volunteers Since the beginning of the official break, our ranks have been thinned. Ten of the 21 original 8th Group remain. The volunteers have been engaging in more individual and family activities since the break has begun. We have finally put to use the washing machine donated by the English Convoy of Hope, and drier weather has made airing clothes on an outside line quite delightful. The snow and ice had melted, and warmer days lately made outdoor activities more enjoyable and considerably safer, however in the me antime we have had quite a lot of snow and the weather has got considerably colder. We are also aning up the house and yard, which are in quite a state, for the next group. In the last few days, B.J., Jez and Michelle have left leaving the house quite empty for a few days, but with the arrival of our guests the house is not quite so deserted. Volunteers Activities Social Reconstruction We have been helping the elderly in the Pakrac area; going shopping, chopping wood, and visiting. The finishing touch-ups were completed last week at the Lipik Children's Home. LJ, BJ, and Jez helped move and arrange furniture and other appliances. We have also spent some unofficial time with the 20 children there (60 more are on the way after the holidays), playing football and generally defending ourselves from the little darlings. Quite rewarding. HelpAge International were so kind as to drop by, leave m isleading intructions for work detail, and forthwith bolt from the area. BJ and LJ distributed 50 food parcels to the elderly in the Daruvar municipality and remote outskirts, driving 200 kilometers in eight hours. Social Activities Both English Lessons and Games with Children had to stop due to holiday break for the students and volunteers. They will resume in mid-January with the next volunteer group. Parties The volunteers held a party Friday Dec. 17 at the Papiga bar for the local work brigades. The night included food, music, pivo (beer), much conversation and melodic singing of Croatian folksongs. The attendance was in wont, but the fortunates who arrived enjoyed the evening. On New Year's Eve we are planning to have a party in Papiga with volunteers and some local kids - depending on whether the local police allow it to happen - either way we should have a party somewhere! Around Christmas On Christmas Eve we landed and official Christmas tree, and decorations are now underway. The sudden and most welcome appearance of the Peace Circus bikelock key in the new washing machine, Care Deutschland Packages and MiZaMir Amsterdam Toys made Father Christmas' (The Esteemed Burkie, esq.) and his helper's (Our Boy Jez) ride around town on Michele's Christmas Games a huge and much easier success. The Games Day, which was a co-operative effort between Pakrac volunteers, UNOV, the primary school's students and teachers, some secondary school participants, was a phenomenal hit. The day included competitive games with the primary school children, face painting, selling cookies and beverages, and ended in prizes (chocolate from UNPROFOR, t-shirts from the volunteers, and....?) being handed out to winning classes. Fashion Show Ana's Fashion Show was coming along famously until we got a mouthful of Croatian bureaucracy. Local Croatian authorities found what they thought to be suspicious names in the events program and with this the troubles began. From this time on we encountered one problem after another until we had no choice but to cancel the show altogether. Radio Daruvar Two weeks ago we interviewed Marko from the working brigades, and facilitated the announcement of the Christmas Games Day and Ana's Fashion Show. Last week, due to vehicular difficulties, we were unable to go on the air. This week Leire, Mentxu, Henrik and Ana have gone to the radio to talk about why they have come back and the changes they see in Pakrac since they were last here. More Activities Aid Lorries On Christmas Eve an Aid Lorry arrived from England full of clothes and building materials and somehow managed to get stuck in the mud! After a few hours of scratching our heads we got it pulled out by another Aid Lorry, and unloaded it. Also this week a lorry arrived with 1.5 tons of Cornflakes from Care Germany which we unloaded in the dark. Ideas and Plans Next week we plan to meet with some young people in the area to discuss future possibilities for utilizing the Youth Center. The first order on the agenda is involving Pakrac youth and volunteer co-operation in reconstructing the building itself. Guests Mindy from HelpAge International, and Tom, from UNOV, dropped by earlier this week. Pec and Daria from Osijek came by, also. Markus, Astrid and Joseph from Nexus in Zagreb breezed in with a convoy last week. Tina, the Croatian Wunderfrau from the Peace Hostel in Zagreb visited with Josh, an American volunteer with Suncokret. And a bucketload of Dutch aid convoy workers came last week. Tanya from America dropped in last week, too. Some old volunteers and friends turned up from Belgium and the Basque Country and are staying for a few days. Werner and Snjezana from Swiss Aid came to Pakrac to see us and to talk about what we are doing with their donation. Thank you! Vielen Dank to Manfred from CARE Austria, who lent us his car so we could rescue our new t-shirts in Daruvar. A huge hvala to Duda from UNOV, who helped arrange the Christmas Games Day. Thanks also to Matt and Urs for their faxes, thanks to Chris, who donated DM 50 on his visit, thanks to Gregor for a postcard and fax and Klaus Vack from Komitee fuer Grundrechte und Demokratie for a fax, Gauthier for photographs and letters. List of Needs Note: things which appeared in previous VIP's in The List of Needs but not in the current one we do still need, we have to set priorities thou not that the list is growing endlessly. - radio/cassette player - pillows - TV/VCR - ink cartridges for Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 510 - boiler for office - labelled cassette tapes (more tunes!) - office supplies (like stapler, files, extension leads, shelves, a notice board, pens and pencils) - a new chain for the toilet - more buckets - recent anti-virus program for IBM - computer equipment (diskettes, software for Windows 3.1 and DOS 6) - request to future Dutch volunteers: kaasschaaf en kaas - labels (for printing addresses with needle printer) another note: [...CENSORED...] is information only for our Secret Services and not public. Sretan Nove Godine (esp. to all colleagues from CIA, KGB, MI5, MAD, FBI, BMP, TMP, APC, IGC, ZAMIR, NEXUS and U2)! The Thinning Ranks, 2nd January 1994.