My time working in Sarajevo began in earnest today, and I met this morning with the U.S. Embassy's CAO Eric and Cultural Affairs Specialist Lejla (FSN, ie local hire). In the afternoon, we went over to the National Theater to scope out the location.
As we entered the theater, Lejla was greeted with kisses and greetings from a number of people we passed. Once inside, she explained that she used to be an actress and a producer of theater. Then she told me a story I will never forget.
Lejla mentioned that during the siege of Sarajevo, she took the stage for two plays.
The power had been cut in the city, so they were forced to act by candle light (This little light of mine...).
Under illumination of incandescent candles, she took the stage to perform Waiting for Godot.
I stared at the gilded, ornate theater and tried to imagine the lights burning in the darkness and heard the echo:
If Godot comes, we will all be saved.
I shivered as the chills ran down the back of my neck.