Sunday, April 2, 2017

What a Difference!



Last year on March 19th, Evan and I took a long hike into the Hostyn Hills, very near the town where we used to host our English Camps. There was still some snow on the ground and we had to dress really warmly. 















Yesterday, when we retraced this hike, the flowers were blooming and the weather was so warm Evan only needed a T-shirt! I got a little too much sun on my old, bald head, but you’re not going to see a picture of that.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

We're Not in Kansas (or Alabama) Anymore

We have grown to really enjoy the snow here. It brightens the gray days and covers the bare, brown winter landscape. Sometimes the sun breaks through and we get a double treat. The snow, the brevity of the days, and the cold remind us that we're living in a foreign place - but one we've come to love.


 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas with Mirka



For several years it has been our privilege to spend a few days at Christmas with our dear friend Mirka. We have developed several Christmas traditions, most of which are common to Czechs. This year we visited a small exposition of nativity scenes in a nearby village. The creativity and variety of these Betlémy were amazing. Czechs are unusually gifted artists and that is very evident in these beautiful little works. 

The traditional Christmas Eve dinner in The Czech Republic is fried carp, carp soup, and potato salad. To do things properly, one must purchase live carp and allow them to swim in one’s bathtub for a day or two. Nearby, you can see our dinner floating in the tub. 

Another favorite tradition of ours is watching Czech fairy tales. On Christmas Eve the Czech television stations play one after another non-stop. These movies are lavish productions starring excellent Czech actors in gorgeous costumes, set in the most beautiful castles in the country. Popelka (Cinderella) is the most popular of all these productions. Here is a link to a You Tube video which highlights some of the more famous scenes from the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd0K_PA3iH0 . To see Popelka at the ball, dancing with the prince, skip to about 4:00 in the video. She tries on her slipper at about 7:40.

   




Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Party!



Every year the Christmas Party feels just a little different from the previous year’s party. This year we had a much more international group in attendance. There were guests from Canada, India, Ghana, and (of course) the Czech Republic. Annette prepared some of our favorite Christmas goodies, including her famous chocolate rum cake. Renata came early to help us get ready. She arranged the veggie tray, which explains why it looks like a work of art. 

Annette decorated the flat beautifully while the maid (that would be me) cleaned up. She created a “flat-Stanley” Christmas tree which fits inside on of our window frames. It’s really lovely.

We had three different groups of guests this year. The first group arrived shortly after two in the afternoon. There were about six guests in that group. The second group of about twenty five arrived between 4:30 and 5:00. The final group of three came at 9:30, after everyone else had departed!
We had some really interesting conversations during the evening, which is what we prayed for. Thank you for praying, too!