Winter days

Seven-year-old Snezha and eight-year-old Ana are sisters and best friends. Together with their younger sister Boba, they live in what is known as probably one of the loudest houses of SOS Children's Village Sarajevo. The reason is simple - this family just loves celebrations.

Snezha and Ana's talks about their winter holiday

'This winter holiday was great fun for both of us. It was full of exciting and nice moments things.

First, we celebrated the arrival of the New Year together with our [SOS] mom and Boba at [SOS] aunt Emira's with her children. We danced, played and got to stay up until late in the night. In the days to follow our mom made sure we had fun in our nicely decorated home. She organized movie nights for us. Every night we would make popcorn and watch a movie together in the family room.

Snezha writes her winter holiday impressions - Photo: SOS Archives
Snezha writes her winter holiday impressions - Photo: SOS Archives
On 7 January we celebrated our [Eastern Orthodox] Christmas. Like every year, our brothers from the [SOS] youth facility came home for Christmas. It was fun. We had lots of different food and played till late.

On 11 January there was another celebration in our house: our little sister Boba had a birthday. Again, the house was crowded and merry. We were especially happy that our dad came to visit and brought along our sister Alex. They stayed all day and we all played together.

After the exciting celebrations, we went skiing on the nearby mountains. One day we went to mountain Igman, another day to Bjelashnica and then one day to Jahorina. We really enjoyed skiing and snowball fighting.

This winter holiday was very special to us because for the first time our [SOS] mom let us help her in the kitchen. Together we made a cake. Mom did most of the work, but we helped. We made the family's favourite fruit cake.

This winter holiday there was a lot of snow. We spent a lot of time sledding and laughing. Sledding is probably our favourite thing to do during the winter holiday.

We also went to the birthday parties of our friends Fata and Rima. We carefully thought of presents for them and used our pocket money to buy the book for Fata and dolly for Rima. They liked our choices.

Unfortunately, winter holidays aren't all fun. We also had some reading to do for school. Luckily, the books weren't too long and some were interesting. Having to read made going back to school easier, but we really look forward to the summer holidays now...'

For fourteen-year-old Siba, this winter holiday was very special. She tells us why.

Last winter holiday at home

'This autumn I will be moving. I am finishing the final grade of primary school and, in addition to starting a new school, in September I will also move to the [SOS] youth facility.

I really hoped for this holiday to be one of the most memorable winters of my life. And though it didn't really turn out the way I imagined, I am still left with a wonderful feeling.

'Being the only one at home while the others are off skiing has its perks,' says Siba - Photo: SOS Archives
Being the only one at home while the others are off skiing has its perks,' says Siba - Photo: SOS Archives

I admit, I stopped thinking about school and tasks the moment I felt the Christmas spirit was in the air. I really looked forward to skiing on the near-by slopes and the long evenings at home with a cup of warm tea and mom's cookies.

I was supposed to join the boys and girls from the youth facility for the daily ski trips and really looked forward to spending time and bonding with my future house mates. We were lucky to get snow in the first days of the holiday. And as luck would have it, I fell already on the first day and hurt my leg. The doctor said that I couldn't run or put pressure on the leg. In short, I couldn't have any outdoor fun. I was bound to the house and very sad to miss the skiing. So, while my friends took on the slopes of Olympic mountain Bjelashnica, I stayed at home reading books and helping mom.

Toward the middle of the holiday, my younger [SOS] brothers and sisters went on a four-day ski trip and the house was suddenly empty. At that time, I was also supposed to go on a longer ski trip with the youth facility. Lucky for me and sad for everyone else, there wasn't enough snow and the trip was cancelled. Instead, a one-day trip was scheduled for the end of the holiday in which I could take part as my leg had healed.

The weather was sunny when we left. Up on the mountain it was the complete opposite. It snowed all day. We spent the day snowball fighting and sledding. A day of fun! I got home very tired, but happy I got at least one outdoor day.

Looking back, I can say that even tough I didn't get to go outside extensively I really enjoyed hanging around at home and spending time with my [SOS] mom. Next winter holiday I will be at the youth facility. The youth facility is close and I know I will be coming home from time to time. Still, I'll have a lot more obligations, a lot more to study and won't be able to stay home for many days. I truly enjoyed my last winter holiday being at home.'