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Book details
  • Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  • SubGenre:Cultural Heritage
  • Language:English
  • Pages:244
  • eBook ISBN:9781989304631

Where the Roses Grow

Touching Stories of Survival

by Nikolina Ivankovic

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Overview
For many people, war is an abstract concept. It happens on TV, on social media, in bits and fragments that are totally disconnected from the lives that many of us here in North America live. For me, war has been an altogether too real chapter of my life. I wrote this book to take readers on a journey with me, to take them through the chaos and the devastation and the rare moments of beauty that encapsulated my escape from the war in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s.
Description
For many people, war is an abstract concept. It happens on TV, on social media, in bits and fragments that are totally disconnected from the lives that many of us here in North America live. For me, war has been an altogether too real chapter of my life. I wrote this book to take readers on a journey with me, to take them through the chaos and the devastation and the rare moments of beauty that encapsulated my escape from the war in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. Picture this: a young woman in her twenties, cowering under rickety stairs, surrounded by smelly shoes and cobwebs, a TV blaring an emergency broadcast somewhere in the house, praying that the shelling and explosions cease as the night starts to fall. She closes her eyes and pictures a different life for herself, a quiet life: cuddled up to someone on a couch, in front of a fireplace, a remote in her hand, watching a TV where she can change the channel at any time. Within this book, readers will see how the advent of a war can sneak up on you with little to no warning. Starting from my peaceful life in Sarajevo, you will follow my trek across four countries, predominantly on foot, occasionally hitchhiking and always relying on the kindness of strangers to only ever stay but a few steps ahead of the frontlines. You will watch my family splinter apart and struggle to come back together, fracturing around me as our nations shifted their borders. But you will also see moments of kindness within the strife. Moments of peace that I've chosen to outline with recipes, since food and cooking represented instances of joy for us. Take note of the recipes, created by my mother, and transcribed from her handwriting via my own translation. There are sixteen recipes in total, each one made possible by the times when we had a home during our plight. While we were on the run, there wasn't time for cooking—there was only a need to survive. But when we had shelter, when we were together, then you could feel the love that arose from the ability to make a meal together.
About the author
Nikolina paddles on Lake Ontario throughout the year. You can go to Bronte Park in Oakville and see her paddling alone or with her Wai Nui O Kanaka, Outrigger Canoe Club paddling community located in the heart of Oakville. This sport has helped in her healing one stroke at a time. Through her passion for the outdoors and for enjoying nature, Nikolina organized a camping community for her friends. So far, this lively group has spent nights under the open sky in dozens of campgrounds across Ontario. Beautiful beaches and spectacular scenery within driving distance are available to all nature lovers. Nature refreshes and balances every person who is open to it. Nikolina has been an active member of the Toastmaster community since 2013 promoting leadership and effective communication skills in District 86 as a Division L Director, member of the three clubs: Horizon Toastmaster, Burlington Advanced Club, and Raising Champions, and is a mentor to many people. Her love for the team and passion for personal growth attracted many creative members of the toastmasters community. Nikolina's passion for personal development came through her challenging life experiences in her early twenties and believing that life is to be lived and loved no matter what it brings to you. This led her to become a Heal Your Life® Coach and Workshop Leader in 2019. Through Louise Hay's philosophy on the importance and transformative effects of self love that is the basis to love everything around you, Nikolina healed war and childhood wounds so that she was able to give birth to this book. Through her posts on Instagram and Facebook, she is bolstering the energy of people who follow her and inspiring their personal growth. Her website offers more information on her Heal Your Life® workshops and coaching.
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