Allan Di Biasio, serving in Bosnia
Ruby arrived this morning, not in the best of moods. It seems that she had been in the mailing box and on a shelf for almost a week waiting for someone to deliver her to me. After she calmed down I showed her around my little corner of Bosnia. I showed her the Mess Hall (although now it is PC to call it a Dining Facility), and the Camp Exchange, the gym and the barracks. Then to my office and introduced her to my shop. Ruby explained who she was and what her mission was. She talked a little about diabetes and was amused to see soldiers and marines squeamish when she explained about injections and places you can give yourself a shot. Most agreed that the arms and legs were okay, but would have a hard time with their stomachs.
Today Ruby and I went down to the main American base in Tuzla. Our mission for the day (in addition to sightseeing) was to see if the American doctors had any dealings in the local towns attending to diabetics, especially juvenile diabetics. I was not totally surprised to find that there were none. There are no Endos here because there is no military need. Type I diabetics are not allowed to join the military, and, if diagnosed after joining, they are discharged.
During the ride back to camp, Ruby was a bit depressed that she would not be able to meet any Bosnian diabetics, but was thrilled with idea of taking some time off to relax sightsee and shop.
Today Ruby and I did some sightseeing. First we drove to a little town called Obudovac, then to the city of Brcko (pronounced: berch-ko) for lunch and ended up with cappuccinos at a little café over looking the Sava River in Orasje. We discussed her stay and decided that as much fun as she was having, it was time to go. There are other families waiting for her to arrive, and it would be best to move on. Her next stop will be in Albany, New York. You will notice that Ruby is now wearing a NATO ribbon; she received this for being part of the NATO Peacekeeping Force here in Bosnia.
Allan Di Biasio, in Bosnia
Ruby outside an orthodox church in Obudovac
Ruby outside the town of Brcko
Rufus and Ruby, the bears with diabetes, is the creation of Carol Cramer, who owns the copyright to Rufus and Ruby. The graphics of Rufus are from Rufus Come Home, written by Kim Gosselin and illustrated by Terry Ravenelli, and are used by permission of the author.
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