Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ice Cream Party

Ice Cream Party
click here to view
Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. It’s been raining so much lately that it’s easy to forget the amazing weather we had last weekend for the Ice Cream Party. Amazingly enough the temperature was just warm enough for us to enjoy the delicious ice cream. Fifty parents and children came to our kick-off Party to find out the results of my scheduling enigma. First they picked up a cup full of ice cream and then they tried their hand at our selection of games. After we had had enough of the ice cream (many people took seconds and even thirds), we came inside the sanctuary for a slide show and announcements concerning how the classes would be split and upcoming parties, like the Halloween Party. While they were playing games they got tickets with numbers for a drawing for prizes that we had during the slideshow. I was very pleased with the number of kids who came and I think it turned out to be a wonderful way to start off the week.
The classes this week went very well. I met some new students and saw some past students again for a second time. I was a little nervous about this week because I am teaching most of the classes without a helper. After teaching, however, I found that this enables me to speak more with the children, because they have to listen to me. I realized how some of the children are afraid to speak to me because they feel uncomfortable about their English. Instead of a helper speaking to them in Czech, they now get help with crafts and games in English first and from me. So I think this will be a better learning experience for them and a better relationship builder. I’m very pleased with the first week of classes and I’m looking forward to next week. (Ještě něco)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First day of English classes


Today turned out to be quite a rainy day, but as far as my classes were concerned, it seemed pretty joyful to me. I packed my schedule pretty tightly for Tuesdays and Thursdays, with four classes on each day with only 15 minutes in between. On Wednesdays I'll have two classes, and on Fridays I'll have youth group and sometimes a special activity. I was pretty nervous about how this first day would go, but 15 min turned out to be just the right amount of time, and I'm pretty grateful for the answered prayers in the last few days. I hope your rainy days turn out to be joyful in your neck of the woods. I feel pretty refreshed after this first day of classes, and I'm itching for the next one.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Free Ice Cream?

It really has been fun starting in Policka again. I really like my new flat and I like living in the middle of town. I have to walk to and from the church at least twice a day if I go home for lunch and it’s good for my health and allows me to see people and feel like I’m a part of the community. I’m speaking Czech more easily and I think it’s all because I feel like I have more self-confidence.
We’ll be starting the year off with an Ice Cream Party, which sounds kind of like Ice Party in Czech, which is kind of funny since the weather is already pretty cold here. Many people don’t know what to expect since it’s not something they commonly do. In fact they don’t sell ice at the grocery store and no one has an ice cream maker or even a cooler to keep the ice cream cold. So I was going to have to buy ice cream in the store, which can get pretty expensive if you want quality ice cream to offer to guests. I was starting to regret the idea, because I kept seeing all of these obstacles and everything seemed so crazy. Then out of the blue, one of our parents offered to give us the left over ice cream they have from their ice cream stand. The weather got cold so early that they had a lot of ice cream left over, and it would just go to waste otherwise. I thought they would ask for some payment, but instead they are just giving it to us! I couldn’t believe my ears. What a blessing! If the forecasters are remotely close, we should have a nice warm day on Sunday before the party. I’m praying that we have good warm weather so that the Ice Cream seems appropriate. So if some people will just turn up before the party to help me, then everything will be spectacular! Ještě něco(a little something more)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

On for another year!

I finished up my week in the US with many appointments. I visited with the people of the First Presbyterian Church in Tonkawa on my last Sunday. I've been corresponding with them and they've been supporting us as well. Again I felt this connection as I saw the smiling faces of people I had only known by name. I visited some friends and even talked to people in my church about my desire to go to seminary when I return to the US and the steps that lay before me in the next year. During my stay at home, many of you have asked "So what are your plans after this next year in Policka, a third year in Czech?" I really feel like I will move on to something else after this year. I think one thing God has been teaching me as I work with so many volunteers is to know when to let someone else take over. I'm really hoping that there will be someone else to take over for me in the fall of 2008. If you know of anyone who would be interested, please put them in touch with me ASAP, because we need to start some interview processes this fall. I was trying to spread the word around in Cimarron Presbytery, and I even went to talk to the University Student group in Stillwater to let them know about our work and the ways that they could be involved. In fact if you are reading this and you find yourself saying, "Hmm...I think it would be fun to teach at the English Camp for a week next summer, or maybe even a year," shoot me an email and I can tell you more about it.
Last Thursday I got back on the plane to come back accross the ocean. I had a long layover in London and went out on the town. Since by that time it was Friday, I strolled past the Markets of Portabello Road. I was sorry that my hands were already full and I couldn't take back any produce. Then I went on a little excursion to see the Templar Chapel they describe in DaVinci Code.The whole area surrounding it was quite beautiful and intriguing. So the Tube was my friend for the day, making it possible for me to see so much. I came to Prague pretty exhausted,
but at the same time exhilarated to be back in the Czech Republic. Since I've been back, I've been Mushroom Picking, moving into my new flat, and doing odds and ends work getting ready for another year of classes. WOW, I feel so refreshed that all of the anomalies and mishaps(like loosing my luggage, forgetting my adapter for US to CZ plug, hearing that my Dukester(cute little grey schnauzer) passed away back in Ponca, getting locked out of my Apartment because I was working late and they use a dead bolt at night) haven't gotten me down one bit. In fact I find myself smiling disaster right back in the face. I feel like my old self again, with insurmountable optimism.