Dobrodosli - Welcome to Bogojevo
At River Kilometre 1366, a steel bridge crosses the Danube. Near the left bank, on the Serbian side, some steel girders of the framework are missing, a result of the civil war. Under the bridge a few people swim and enjoy the evening atmosphere. Every year when the TID stops here in the small Serbian village of Bogojevo, a great celebration occurs.
Every year there is a festival atmosphere of trumpets, folk dances and euphoria. This year the inhabitants of Bogojevo have even made extra efforts. "This year the festival is much larger than it was formerly, because it is the 50th anniversary of the TID," says Anika Ohajdu from Bogojevo. "We are hospitable. Hungarians, Gypsies and Serbians live in our village."
"Every visitor is welcome and we are pleased whenever something happens in our community. We are a small village along the Danube and it simply pleases us when so many people come from different nations to visit," she says. A man from the neighbouring village of Odzaci agrees, "I have lived in Spain for fifteen years and have visited the whole of Europe. However, I have not experienced the atmosphere of Bogojevo anywhere else."
Campsites are not a problem here. Everybody can camp in the gardens of the houses. "It goes without saying so we can show how we live here," Mrs. Ohajdu says. Not only the inhabitants of Bogojevo are pleased with the international visit. The Dutch representative said in her speech at the celebration ceremony "even the mosquitoes are glad that we came today". Because of the flood, the mosquitoes are a plague this year.
Bogojevo was not always the campsite of the TID. Rolf Kunze from Bonn was the German TID Leader for 27 years. He remembers, "I first joined the TID in 1963 and the campsite was always at the recreation ground of the sugar plant in Erdut, on the other side of the Danube (today Croatia). During the war, everything there was completely destroyed."
"I cannot say exactly when we were first in Bogojevo, probably in 1996. But we did not have this cordiality in Erdut. It is inconceivable, simply inconceivable. It was like this from the beginning, but every year a little more. The hospitality here is splendid, everything is made completely simple for us. As far as I know, they founded an association to finance the festival."
Regardless of how exhausted and drained the paddlers arrive in Bogojevo, the next morning they are nourished and paddle with new strength during the 47 kilometres to the next destination of Backo Novo Selo. The people in Bogojevo provide every bit of that!