Peja, New Year's 2000 – Y2K, YWAM, and AK47s
Remember the Y2K hysteria accompanying the dawn of the new millennium? There were predictions of massive power outages; a total breakdown of communication, banking and postal systems; even civil unrest. I found the whole thing mildly amusing. The worst case scenario for our friends back in the States was just everyday life in Kosova in the aftermath of the war.
We were surrounded by danger and destruction, but it was a heady time. My friend Nezir asked me whether we would be traveling home to America for the New Year. “Why would I want to do that?” I asked him. “In America a number is rolling over. But for my Kosovar Albanian brothers, this is really a historic moment – their first New Year of freedom.” (This was all true, but I failed to mention another factor: traveling back to the States was totally out of the question for financial reasons.)
We were discussing the danger of falling bullets* when a series of tracers came arcing over our house. All of a sudden we heard a loud THUNK as a metal object struck the car below us. We didn’t stop to ask what it was. We were all pretty sure we knew. We all ran back into the house saying, “Man, did you hear that? That was a close call!” We laughed and joked a bit about our narrow escape, but it really had shaken us up a bit. When we settled down a bit, the leader of the YWAM team, who was a great practical joker, pulled a AA battery out of his shirt pocket and said with a straight face, “Are you sure it wasn’t just one of these?” We laughed some more as we understood then that we had been had.