Celebrity Hvar Lavender: ‘Bosnian Lady Di’ Sanela Jenkins with Asher Monroe

Total Croatia News

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Photos by Jadran Lazic

July 28, 2019 – The lavender fields of Hvar are a very egalitarian place, from local pickers to celebrities from California, as Sanela Jenkins and Asher Monroe helped Jadran Lazic with his 2019 crop.

As I have written several times before, one of the things I most love about Hvar is its egalitarian nature. It doesn’t matter who you are you come from, we are all here to relax and enjoy. Having worked hard to establish myself as the leading British blogger at Cafe Splendid in the third largest town on Hvar, for example, it was a little disheartening to learn that after all these years, I was only the second-biggest British blogger in the cafe, as BBC Chief Football Correspondent Phil McNulty also uses the Splendid while on holiday, and actually does his annual Premier League predictions in the cafe each year. Phil and I have become friends and regularly have a good chat about football.  

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And so too with celebrity photographer, Jadran Lazic, who manages to divide his celebrity lifestyle in LA with life in his native Split, Zavala and his beloved lavender fields on top of the island, where I have assisted him in each of the seven lavender harvests since 2013. 

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The man who brought Jodie Foster to Hvar back in 1978 has had many celebrity visitors to his house in Zavala over the years, but none had thus far made it to the lavender harvest. 

That changed this year as Jadran’s special guest at the opening of his photo exhibition in Split 2 weeks ago, Sanela Diana Jenkins, was among the 20 workers who were given their sickles and put to work.  


Sanela is often called the ‘Bosnian Lady Di‘ for her philanthropic work in her native Bosnia through the Sanela Diana Jenkins Foundation for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Memory of Irnis Ćatić. Jenkins fled during the war before forging a hugely successful career, which is now based in California. 

In 2009, she launched the Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project—the first endowed program on international justice and human rights at any law school in the western United States.

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She works with the faculty to advance human-rights causes around the world, including bringing war criminals to justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina and addressing human trafficking issues in the Congo.

Sanela was accompanied to the harvest by her dog Pearl. 

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And pop star partner Asher Monroe (who later performed live at Carpe Diem) was ready for action after the obligatory selfies. 

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A gorgeous setting in an aromatic field, taking part in a timeless Dalmatian tradition.  

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Sickles are quite sharp, and I managed to draw blood from my shin while harvesting. Asher was a little less fortunate as he had one of the brand new and extra sharp sickles. He sliced his finger and was taken down to the local village of Humac, where some local rakija and bandage fixed him up in no time. And his subsequent performance at Carpe Diem was apparently magnificent. 

A lovely day all round, and with Sanela counting the likes of George Clooney, Sean Penn and Elton John among her close friends, I wonder who will be at next year’s harvest?

For a full report on the 2019 harvest, including videos of the workers singing traditional songs in the fields, the preparation of the grill afterwards, and the distilling of the lavender oil, check out the comprehensive TCN report


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