SKLONIŠTE means bomb shelter. Oh.

SKLONIŠTE means bomb shelterToday, I woke up to a beautiful, sunny day in Split, Croatia and thought it was a good day to go take some photos for a style post.

OF COURSE the second we headed outside, rain started pouring down.

Ah well…

Change of plans! We took some photos in a dry doorway instead. More accurately, I made Aki take some photos while Mateo danced around me and jumped in the rain.

At the end of our “photo shoot,” Aki mentioned that the word behind me (SKLONIŠTE) meant “shelter.” Perfect! Right?

Although later it dawned on me that it must actually mean “BOMB shelter.” Aki thinks I’m funny. He just laughed at me and said “Well yeah…what did you think, bunny shelter?” :)

Sigh. Little traces of a sadder time. As I was writing this post, I suddenly wondered if Aki was ever in that very bomb shelter. Sure enough, he has memories of being down there as an 11 year old boy with his family and neighbors.

Croatia is such a beautiful country. It’s all coast with wild nature, clear sea, and lots of islands. These days it’s filled with tourists, cruise ships and yachts from all over the world. It’s moved on, Aki has moved on.

I’m such an emotional person though. Just being here, my emotions well up when I see these glimpses of such a recent war. It’s hard for me to imagine being a child in that time. Or maybe more impossible, to have children during a war. It’s so hard to make sense of these things. I guess it always is.


PS  Aki says the “sklonište” is probably used as communal space to celebrate birthday parties these days.

PPS  My full (silly) style post will be coming up soon

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11 Thoughts on “SKLONIŠTE means bomb shelter. Oh.

  1. Great post. That would make me emotional too, thinking about my husband as a child growing up during a war. I know my husband had a pretty traumatic childhood but he’s blocked out a lot of the memories and doesn’t talk about them. I’m just glad we will be able to give our children something better.

    I want to see more photos of Croatia!

    • having our own children gives us such a new perspective doesn’t it!

  2. Wow, I didn’t realize that Croatia had a relatively recent war (I’m super bad with history and politics). I would have gotten emotional too! I think that’s why I love traveling so much–you get to go outside your little American bubble and see the world for what it really is. It’s very enriching and it definitely makes you grateful for what you have (and it makes you feel a bit spoiled in a sense too)!

    • Yes, it’s so important to realize that we are all connected and part of a wider world. My parents are from two different countries and now so are Mateo’s. :) I’m glad he’ll grow up with different perspectives.

      Honestly the history was pretty vague for me too. I remember the war as a child, and I have had friends who left Bosnia because of the war, but I the details were very blurry until I came here myself and had so many questions.

      Croatia is part of former Yugoslavia. Probably the Bosnian war (also former Yugoslavia) rings a bell. Bosnia’s war was much longer and refugees were given green cards to the US, so many Americans are more familiar with that part of the war.

  3. Cathy Clark:

    I didn’t know that Aki was there during the war. I followed it as it happened and I remember the sadness I felt for all the children growing up in fear. Glad to know that he was able to move on so well, even though it may have been difficult.

    • Aki is an expert at moving on and growing from tough experiences. That’s for sure! :)

  4. Angela:

    You should post a link to the history of Croatia (approved by Aki), for all of your curious friends.

  5. You look beautiful Mama! Your whole ensemble is tres chic.

    Gosh, I didn’t know that about Croatia. I wouldn’t know how to deal if I had kids during a war either. It’s already hard as it is sans war, I just can’t imagine. Aki must have stories.

    • Thanks Sisilia. :)

      Yes, I think it would be quite a burden to be a parent during war. I think sometimes the children don’t understand everything going on but the adult sadly understand all too well.

  6. Catherine:

    So interesting how we learn to move on from our past experiences. Sometimes I look at myself now and wonder how I ever learned to move on. And sometimes I look at other people knowing their past experiences and wonder how they ever learned to move on. But past experiences and knowing that we’re in a better place now is what makes the very moments that we live in our current lives that much more special. It always reminds me to live in the here and now and appreciate all the wonderful things I have in my life and minimizes the things I don’t like or don’t have. Thanks for sharing. Love the blog, as usual! :)

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