Zagreb, Croatia, March 2014.
I fully expected that my visit to Zagreb would eventually fall into the “nice place to visit once” category, but I was graced with two very special gifts that would change my mind.
This posting is the story of the first surprise…
In the main square, while searching for a comfortable place to chill and score some ćevapi and beer, I spotted two very interesting young ladies enthusiastically focused on their task.
One lady photographed from various perspectives as the other assumed a variety of poses and expressions from innocent to playful to shocked to mockingly serious.
At the first break in the action, I could not help but approach them and ask about their project. To my delight, both of them (Vesna the photographer and Damajanti the model) spoke fluent and delightful English and were thrilled that I found their work interesting.
It turns out that they were doing a shoot for a photography contest that promotes literacy and education.
But that is not all. As you can see from the title of the book that Dami is holding, they were also making a positive statement for tolerance regarding sexual orientation, which is no small feat in conservative Catholic Croatia.
I deeply admired their honesty, conviction, and courage… and we became instant friends. People like Vesna and Damajanti give me hope for the whole world and inspire me to do more to live in accordance with my most deeply-held values.
And this was a gift that would keep on giving, as there was a second surprise to come… Before we said goodbye, Vesna invited me to join her for a “dance workshop” the next morning!