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Archive file

VIP No.10, 2nd January 1994

Volunteers Information Pakrac
New Years Special
Volunteers accomodation                       Office
Prilaz Baruna Trenka 19            Strossmajerova 63
(former Partisanski Put)
43550 Pakrac
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.


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

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.


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
- 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
2nd January 1994.

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