We’re enjoying quite a (much needed) rainstorm this morning and, unlike Belgrade, there’s not a lot to do in Bor when it rains. I’m sitting in the kitchen with the girls, enjoying a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee (YES!!!!), figuring out what we should do while we’re boarded up for the day. Games, puzzles, family yoga and maybe one of the girls’ new favs, an old Ernest movie. (Ernest Goes to Jail, Ernest Saves Christmas, Ernest Scared Stupid…) With little exploring going on today, I’ll give you what I’ve got from our travels and conversations as of late.
- My understanding was that Serbs, on average, make between $4,500 – $5,500 Canadian a year. At the pool this weekend, we chatted with a few families about Canada and Serbia and they told me that the lucky people made that amount of money and that, more often in rural settings like Bor, a person is most likely to make only $200 Euros a month, roughly $290 Canadian.) This is IF they are lucky enough to get a job. Many are not so fortunate. If they are one of the chosen few, it breaks down like this: $100 EU/month goes to rent in an apartment, leaving $100 EU a month (often) for an entire family to pay for electricity, transportation, food, clothing, and any other necessities like medicine or child care. Full time childcare, with 3 meals a day, might cost $50 Euros a month. This might not seem like a lot to us Canadians, but if you only have $50 left to spend on necessities after rent and childcare, this is an astronomical amount for a Serbian family. We are so incredibly lucky to have what we have in Canada. We have won the country lottery, really.
- One of our Serbian friends here sent us a link to some lyrics that, he says, perfectly sums up Serbian mentality. It was created by a Croatian group, but he believes the strong message also applies to all of Serbia. In my short time here it seems pretty accurate to me, and a good reminder of how blessed we are to be Canadian.
Here is the link if you want to listen to the song: Priroda i drustvo lyrics
Nature and Society
I’ll leave you with this image. It’s an info graphic from the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. It says that ….Almost two-thirds of households in the Republic of Serbia report “making ends meet” with difficulty or great difficulty.