Nada Kastratovic lived in her brother's house, and other five lived in the churchyard of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos Church. Until March 17, 2004 they were protected around the clock by Italian KFOR troops, and looked after by Decani monks. They could not imagine that the Albanians would attack them, after razing the other Serb Orthodox church in town, the Holy Trinity Church, and ?turning? it into a field, and that they themselves would be forced to flee Djakovica. Now all of them except Ljubica live in Visoki Decani Monastery. They rarely go to Djakovica, and some not at all because they are bed-ridden.
"That church is 500 years old. It was built with the tears and prayers of the Serb people. In a single night, according to traditional lore. The church and the building where we lived were blown up, demolished, their remains carted off, so that the location where they once stood is now an empty field. Some remains of the newer building can still be seen. The walnut trees have been cut down, although not all of them, as well as the vines, a muscat that bore grape every year," says "Auntie" Poljka, describing the church and churchyard where she lived for 40 years. Before that she worked in Bosnia as a teacher. She˙adds that in spite of everything, if the church were rebuilt, she would return to Djakovica.
Jelena Miovic's house has been rebuilt but in the past year she has not visited it. She cannot forget March 17. "I was with Poljka. We were doing some work in the yard. She went into the kitchen. I asked, Poljka, what's the matter? She was silent. What's the matter? She started to cry. Don't you hear it? They began to pound on the door as if mad. Oh, woe, what˙can we do. We wept, we racked our brains. The Italian that was there said don't be afraid. I said, you should let your headquarters know, brother. He called them. They came at once. They did not ask anything. They transferred us to Decani," says Jelena, a former postal clerk.
She tells us how even before the arrival of the UN mission in Kosovo, her former Albanian friends did not dare say hello to her when meeting her in the street if they were accompanied by anyone.
"One of them later called me by phone to apologize. Jelo [diminutive of Jelena], she said, forgive me but I did not dare for fear of my brother. Don't be surprised. They even hate each other," explains Jelena.
The five Serb women from Djakovica now live with the Decani monks, who provide everything they need much as they did while the ladies were living in Djakovica.
"To the extent I can imagine Heaven, this must be what it is like. Bishop Theodosios and the monks have adopted us. They have given us everything although where we lived we also had everything. We had here a Christian feast that miraculously stretched for 22 kilometers from Decani to Djakovica. Everything came from here," says "Auntie" Poljka. She was born in the village of Grabovac, located 12 kilometers from Djakovica. She tells us how her parents had to flee before the Albanians on the eve of World War II, leaving behind a newly built house in the village of Marmule near Djakovica. When they returned from Montenegro after the war, they found nothing. Poljka, like her sisters by fate, has relatives but none remain in Kosovo and Metohija. They are scattered throughout the rest of Serbia and the world. She stays in touch with them but continues living in the monastery, hoping that one day she will be able to return to Djakovica.
"I am interested in the church and in again returning to Djakovica. I don't trust the Albanians but I place my hope in God. My faith is strong, and I do not even think about whether the same thoughts they had before are still in their minds. Not everyone is like that. I have had no problems with the neighbors in the past five years. I have never been afraid for my own life but I was afraid and I prayed for the church these five last years. What happened, happened. I'm sorry it did but again I place my hope in God that I will again return and that the church will be rebuilt. All that transpires is according to God's design," says "Auntie" Poljka.