Sunday, August 27, 2006


Last week one of my new friends, Magda Jakubcová, invited me to come with her, her two daughters and her mother to their cabin in the mountains of Slovakia near Terchova. I’m not sure what I was expecting, maybe a peaceful week with plenty of walking, playing cards, and reading. Should I have added climbing to that list? Yes, but surely not rock climbing, I could never do that.
Apparently, I can climb mountains. I climbed steep slopes to get to the cabin, to watch the sunset, to see the next mountain, to get the best view, and to see the waterfalls. Walking sticks are a necessary possession in the mountains. My favorite trek was when we went to a concert of Nohavica* and had to climb to the cabin in the dark, because we couldn’t find our flashlight. The mountain ridge outlined the starry sky. Billions of stars shone so brightly, especially because the mountains covered the moon. I felt an urge to create more constellations because the stars seemed less like dots and more like pictures. I learned a good amount of Czech and now enjoy sharing my new phrases with my friends here in Polička. We played games like “I spy” and “When I went to my cabin, I took (fill in the blank, where you have to remember the blanks and add your own)”. First we played it in English and then in Czech. So I know valuable words like Bunda(Jacket) and Bota(shoe) and Klacek(walking stick).
Although this week was tough, the family taught me that some things are worth climbing mountains. The thing is that you have to decide for yourself, what’s worth climbing for? a waterfall? the sunset? finding your faith? sharing God’s love? I will hold the image of climbing in my memory, mostly the fact that I did this thing that I thought was impossible and more than impossible, something I thought I would never do. It’s amazing what you can do when your friends want to share a place that carries special significance to them.
*Nohavica is this incredible Czech folk singer. He sings funny songs, political songs, love songs, sports songs….everything. Even when I didn’t know what he was saying, I cried in the sad songs and laughed with the funny songs. You can read about his fascinating life or listen to his songs at
Some translations of the texts to English are on

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