Thursday, November 02, 2006

The end of fall

Well, winter is finally here in the Czech Republic. Last night we had our first snow, and believe it or not it’s still snowing. I went to Prague for the last two weekends and both times I prepared for some cold winds, and ended up carrying my scarf and jacket. I thought to myself, “Madison, is having colder weather, and I survived there for the last three winters. I can take this.” Now we’ll see how many layers I have to wear under my new coat (this is the coat the friendly woman gave me in Switzerland if you remember from the post in September).

Speaking of Prague, I had a nice time getting a mix of American and Czech culture there. I looked at Czech art, visited Czech buildings, and ate American Food. It’s strange how visiting Prague feels like visiting a large city in the US. I think it’s because of the masses of cars, billboards, and American fast food chains. Oh, yeah, and everyone speaks English in Prague. It really is an amazing city. Being there and seeing the historic places, you realize the power it once had, and at the same time, in the smaller cities, you realize how much communism can destroy in such a short amount of time. I think it will be interesting to see what CZ looks like after 40 years of democracy.
Earlier this week we had our long awaited Halloween Party. I have posted pictures on the photo site (again, password policka) with descriptions of what we did. It was a little crazy, having so many kids of such a large variation of ages. There are many things I wish I had done differently, but the important part is that everyone had a great time. Maybe my favorite part was that someone donated a pumpkin for us to carve and use as a decoration! The first class of 6th-7th graders dug out the seeds, chose a design for the face, and then carved it themselves. I was so excited to share this experience with them. I’m so sorry I didn’t get any pictures of them carving, but I do have this picture of the pumpkin. You’ll see more about what we did in the pictures, so I won’t go on forever about the party, but I will say this. I owe a lot to Jan, Anna, and my mom and sister for helping me with the preparations and the party itself. My mom and sister sent me many things to share with the kids, and Jan and Anna helped in more ways that I can count. When I first thought of having the party I never dreamed how big it could get. It was a lesson in “Always plan for needing help.” I didn’t realize how much help I would need, and I should have asked for more helpers to commit to being there. I had expected Parents to come, and now I’m not sure why I thought that. For the next party, I plan to have plenty of people ready to help. I can’t do it alone, and I shouldn’t try to do it that way either.

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