Paddling into a beautiful cove, I thought I had found the perfect spot on Jakljan, an uninhabited islet in Croatia, part of the Elaphiti Islands archipelago off the coast of southern Dalmatia. I had found the most beautiful place, but war and bitterness had desolated its beauty. Today was to be the saddest day of my journey.
This cove was a beautiful summer camp for needy, homeless and sick Croatian children. A gorgeous scenic summer camp built in 1974 comprising small, tasteful white bungalows with orange tiled roofs, this vacation hideaway brought happiness into the lives of countless kids.
But the island has a history. In May 1945 over 100 soldiers from Germany and Croatia were killed by Tito's Yugoslavs without trial on the island's shore and buried in a mass grave. This was not discovered until 2013.
The Croatian War of Independence, fought from 1991 to 1995 which declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, left its toll on this little island. It was closed and the caring and good spirit of kindness left the island.
Today the small bungalows and beach that once brought a smile and peace to children, has become a dumpground.
People have ruined the premises. No laughing kids. No peace. No harmony with nature.
Littered beaches. Unkept property. Ping pong tables shattered. Bungalows filled with beer cans, reeking with the smell of urine and in disarray, could be cleaned and put into order.
Who can repair the bad? It is up to the people of Croatia and Dubrovnik to bring back the happiness. Think of the Red Cross making this little cove to be a place of delight once again.
Think of this still quiet cove filled with the spirit of caring and kindness again. Do you want this to happen? I most certainly do. Give peace a chance Croatia and Dubrovnik. Repair the bad and make Jakljan an island of purpose and not a plantation of fig trees for commercial gain - of which it is doing right now!!!!
Please post this blog to all friends in Croatia.