Friday, December 01, 2006

It’s been a long, long, long, long, long time

So I realized the other day that I hadn’t posted in almost a month! I’m so sorry. I was trying to get myself used to posting on Fridays, and then I had a few Fridays where I couldn’t post, and I just can’t fit it in any other day. So here I am, finally finding a free Friday.

November was emotionally a huge month for me. I had a wonderful birthday, mixed with joy and sadness. I was very homesick, but many people made me feel loved. It reminded me of the phrase, “Home is where the heart is.” We were talking about the meaning of this phrase in one of my classes and, especially now, I understand it to mean that you feel at home where you feel close to others. Maybe this is just because I’m a people person, but I am feeling more at home, now that I have deeper relationships with some people here. Up until a few weeks ago, I had felt very alone. Even though I’m living in a house with 5 other people and my moments to myself are sometimes few, I felt like a sore thumb, sticking out anywhere I went. Then, as I formed some closer relationships with individual people, I started to feel like I wasn’t just that American girl, but rather I’m a friend to many of the people around me. I’m socializing, finally, and forming relationships, more of what I came here to do.

Last month was mainly about Thanksgiving in the classes. We talked about “remembering:” how we remember things, what we remember, and sharing memories. On Thanksgiving, I decided to make some stuffing for my adult conversation class as a way of celebrating the day. Although it was a lot of work without stove top stuffing :), it paved the way for some fun discussion about culture. For homework, I asked them to bring something from Czech culture to share with me for this week, and we talked about a lot of cultural differences. We had some good laughs and somber moments (and they brought me some ginger bread!).

I will bring this post to a close with a small note that we have had an abnormally warm fall here in Polička. I keep getting these emails from people that it’s snowing in the US, but I think we won’t get snow for another week. It’s weird. It almost doesn’t feel like December without snow. Today I started to listen to Christmas music(a little late for me), and I’m heading to Prague to see the big Christmas markets and look at the lights. It’s starting to feel like Christmas. I’ve been hearing about some exciting Czech traditions, but I’m still waiting to experience them. So, a merry Advent to you! (Would you believe they actually make fresh advent wreaths every year here? Yeah, with real dried oranges, fresh branches, and dried flowers. Imagine that.)

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