I'll enter a title after the entry.

Trip Start Jul 03, 2006
Trip End Aug 20, 2006

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Friday, August 11, 2006

Hey everyone, I will try and catch up some now because I am leaving to go out of town in a few hours. So last night we watched an excellent movie (maybe my new favorite), it's called Stěsti. The English title is "Something Like Happiness", which is ironic because it really isn't a happy movie at all. It did win many awards here and was even nominated for an Oscar. It was kind of a sad movie, and didn't really have very deep character development. What it showed was how people act in real life situations. The interesting thing was that since it's a Czech movie, the focus was really different than an American one. I loved it. Any movie that can make you think so much while revealing a lot of information about a culture and the people who live there is brilliant. I would like to see it again. I liked the realistic nature of the film as opposed to the many American movies that are all special effects and completely unforseeable in normal life. I would tell the story but it's really complicated. It's about a single mother who needs to go to a mental health clinic for awhile and has two young boys who have nowhere to go so her neighbor takes them in instead of going to America with her boyfriend. And there's more to it obviously.

Today I am leaving to go to Ostrava to spend the weekend at a festival with Ross and Katka at a festival in Hlucin (Katka's hometown). So yesterday I called Josef Nemcek, the father of my aunt's Slovakian foreign exchange student whom I met this summer. He only spoke Slovak to me on the phone. It was kind of a tough phone call, to say the least. I couldn't remember how to say Sunday in Czech and I said Monday accidentally because they sound the same. Oops. This could be quite interesting. No, I will call them again and get ahold of Sebastian before I go. And I will call when Katka is around just in case it's only Josef.

Well I wanted to go to lecture today, they added an additional lecture on the Cold War this afternoon but I wouldn't have time to go to the train station and all that. We were out late the niht before last at the same Belmondo club. It was a good time. Classes with our new teacher are very easy compared with the previous teacher. We just talk and stuff. I went and bought a flag from the Olomouc soccer team fan shop. It's pretty sweet. I wanted a jersey but they're expensive and I'm not sure I would really wear it. But I think I'll buy it anyway. Better safe than sorry. Haha.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend: the festival,Ostrava,and Trnava. I just wish I didn't leave my charger in Domazlice so I could charge my iPod for the train ride and upload some photos. Ugh. Well it's crazy to think a week from today it'll all be over and I'll be on my way home. Man. I can already tell what it's going to be like for me by all the emails from school, SPO, the Pikes, etc. I should get ready now because it will be like jumping into a whirlpool that for now I'm safe from. :)

Uploading/organizing photos will be time consuming and so will organizing/adding up recepits and making a spreadsheet for them. I wanted to begin doing that over here but I can't charge my laptop anymore. Maybe I can get a charger this weekend. So I haven't seen Jaromir yet or Veronika. She hasn't replied to my last email so I don't think I will see her but I got a message from Jaromir yesterday and I called him on his cell and there was no answer so I don't know...

From here on out, my focus is just going to be on enjoying every minute and everything I do because I know when I get back I will think how great it was over here. It's too bad I will miss the Castles tomorrow but I have already seen quite a few.
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jackiebuchta on

Another thing.........
One other thing I just thought of about that marvelous program is that now, when you do get back to Europe, you'll know people in ALL those countries! Unbelievable! You'll have to plan a really long trip to visit all of them, or maybe you will have to go teach over there for awhile! :) What a wonderful thing, to get to know people from so many countries and cultures! A phenomenal blessing!

jackiebuchta on

Well, this is silly, but I posted a comment earlier that apparently didn't post. Thus the title 'Another thing', because the other thing was first. Don't quite remember whaat all I said, except that it sounds like you'll have a fun weekend. Now I remember, it was titled 'Enjoy', and I said I'm glad you get to spend some time w/R.&K., and hope you do get to see Jaromir and Sebastian. So, do enjoy your last week! God bless! :)

carriebearie on

consider this plan, Ben...
how about you wait like two years before you go back and teach, and then I can do a semester abroad and then we'll madly travel Europe seeing everyone you know when we're not in class?! As Val pointed out, I'm probably not the kind of company you wanted, but its still another person to talk about the experience with! Oh, but if I do come over there, I want to see some gorgeous castles :D !! Also echoing Val, any kroj tips or pieces you come back with would be much appreciated!!!

'Dekoju' ('thanks'...its something like that) for keepin' up the journal!
:) Carrie

valandbrent on

Don't know if you noticed this...
but you didn't really add a title after the entry. The movie description reminds me of 'Crash'. Did you see that? Good movie to reveal some truths about the culture. Not necessarily pleasing, but real. Anyway, enjoy your last week and do try to keep up your learning. This is such a spectacular experience for you. Claire's college also has a cooperative relationship with schools in the Czech Republic, so maybe in a couple years you and Carrie and Claire can share a heritage experience. We will be taking Claire up to Chicago to move in next week so she will be adjusting to big city life while you are re-acclimating to American life. Please keep her in your prayers as we will be praying for your blessing and safety as you finish up your travels and head home. Love you, Ben! Val

valandbrent on

And another thing. Really.
I was really just kidding about the kroj. We (Monica and Carrie and I) were talking to a guy at Czech Days who was giving us tips about authentic kroj from various regions of the C.R. So I thought I'd throw that out there. He had mentioned finding beautiful pieces in some antique shops over there. I'm sure the soccer jersey will be more practical.

jackiebuchta on

Wow! It's awesome
to see all this enthusiasm for travel from your cousins! Now, you'd probably need an adult chaperone, so I'd be glad to volunteer! Not that you'd have any shortage of volunteers! We'd all better start saving our money now!

jackiebuchta on

Know a good substitute teacher?
Hey son, Dad here using mom's post-it. With all this talk about teaching in Czech Republic, I thought I might chip in my nickle's worth (Euro's worth?) that if you or anyone you know might need a substitute teacher, well, I would like to volunteer for the position. My czech ain't so good but my inklish is da bomb! (oops, can't use THAT four letter word no-moe)
Have a good last week and a safe trip back to America.
It has been a great pleasure reading your travel log while you are over there:)

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