Saturday, July 21, 2007

Europe: english and bread

It has been a long time since I have had internet access, and a lot has happened since that time, so I will make this as good a summary as I can. Freak I love summer, thats all I can say. My adventures thus far have been unforgettable, and the stuff that good and full lives are made of as far as I know.

We arrived in Prague after about 24 hours of straight travel, having been delayed at Heathrow airport for six hours due to security concerns. Let me tell you, there is not much to do for six hours in the world's busiest airport, ug. Anyway, so, after arriving at about eleven at night Prague time, we decided to go into the city at 5am the next day because we knew we would not have time the next day before we were bussed to our training in Malenovice. So, after an early morning and a quick tour around the nearly deserted streets of Prague, we had breakfast and headed to Malenovice, where we would meet with several other groups who were also teaching english somewhere in the Czech. The training in Malenove took place in a new and beautiful ski lodge, located high on a mountain and overlooking wooded hills and green meadows below. Wow. It was beaitiful. We trained there for two and a half semi-restful days, and then departed for our less than desirable second location: a hotel that had once served as a Communist training camp of sorts, and had not been touched by the hand of renovation since. Classy, was my first thought upon seeing it. The sinks were in the showers, which, I suppose, really does save one a bit of trouble in the long run, and the whole place reaked of smoke. Anyway, it turned out to be a lot of fun, and once the students arrived, the fun and sleep deprivation didn't stop. I found that I really do love teaching english, and it helped that the students really wanted to learn. I was able to form relationships with people who barely spoke English, but who were kind, thoughtful and smart. Ok, I am running out of time, I am supposed to meet several Czech friends at a local pub in ten minutes, so quickly...some of my favorite memories thus far: sleeping on airport floors, trying to read road signs in Czech, rap battling my friend Joe G, playing guitar briefly at a train station for money, searching for two friends lost in the mountains near where we were staying, continuous laughter and stories, meeting good people. It is amazing how kind people are. With all the crap that happens in the world today, one can begin to think that everyone is like that, cruel and self-centered. But I have found so many good people, people who really care and will give anything for their fellow man. I am staying in the house of one of my students, Martin, and I have not stopped eating yet. His parents had dinner going when I arrived, and it is still going now...three hours later. I have literally eaten my weight in food. One of the key rules here is to eat everything you are given, all of it. So that has become my burden to bear, and it has been a real pleasure thus far.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I have eaten the equivelant of three trucks full of bread since being here. They love their bread I tell you, and that is most of what I have eaten until now. White fattening bread, all the time.

Life is good. Travel is good. Adventure is good. God is good.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Boston: journey around the city

The last few days have been awesome, and have shown me in many ways how good life really is. I am still in Boston, even though I was supposed to leave two days ago. My friends Joe and Sarah convinced me to stay for the extra days, promising good times and memories, and the last few days have been nothing short. We have been almost everywhere in this city, each day we set out on our journey to cover as much of the city as possible and see as much as we can. Yesterday I was in a street performance in front of Quincy Market in downtown Boston much to the delight of a crowd of several hundred. I ate Sushi, saw the ocean, walked for miles and saw the sunset and I have to tell you that it was pretty perfect. I am enjoying this so much, this freedom that comes with travel and uncertainty.

I have been sharing a bed with my friend Joe, a big goofy guy from Cincinnati who is a social worker in the city, and, other than occasionally stealing the blankets, I couldn't ask for a better bed-mate. He is one of those guys who draws people to him, and I think his outlook on life is brilliant. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite people.

The history is everywhere out here, and almost every old brick building you can see has some historical significance. What is interesting to see are the old buildings, apartments, houses, and so on, and the giant corporate buildings lighted and standing tall behind them. The contrast between these two time periods provides an interesting commentary as to the progression of American ingenuity. Old and comfortable versus new and industrialized.

In a few hours it’s off to New York City where I will stay for the next few days. Parting is indeed such sweet sorrow, especially since I have made such great memories with these people in Boston. But all things must come to an end and it is time for me to move on with my journey, and, as always, it is exciting to think of what the future holds.A few pictures from my time...

This is a homeless guy who wouldn't let me go, he kept talking about how when he was my age he had toga parties too, and how he needed money to visit his friends in Europe...Why do these guys always singe me out?