My trip to Prague was so uneventful as to be spooky . Even Heathrow Airport in London was a piece of cake though my flight connection was so tight I arrived at the last minute to catch my plane to Prague. Vera and friend greeted me at Ruzyne Airport in Prague, all smiles.  We drove through the Czech countryside, so familiar to me from my time in Slovakia-  red-tiled homes and muddy fields, weeping birches and tall wild confers , electrical towers and square-nosed trucks. All of it seen through a thick fog that reminded me of home. 

Vera brought me to the school, reached by a little road up a long hill, and a couple of young students showed me to my room. I was thankful to have my own space, furnished sparsely, with a private bathroom. I slept much of the time between 5 pm and the next morning, when I walked over to the dining hall for breakfast. The large hall was decorated with the flags of many nations and overlooks the Czech countryside and a castle, now a museum, which is -I was told by one of the dorm parents - a prime tourist destination. The food was delicious, after a day and night of not eating much of anything! And the same source told me that the chef is one of the top 500 in the world and could work anywhere but stays because he likes the school!

Vice principal Keith Saberi was very busy the last couple days but eventually met with me to talk about what I could do with his classes. I will be facilitating writing workshops for two, two-hour periods a week and a 40-minute class for another teacher. It is a fairly light schedule but will no doubt fill up my time, along with emailing, blogging and working on my own writing.

Yesterday Martina, the school secretary, drove me around town and I did a little shopping. Everything is a bit more expensive than I expected, but relatively inexpensive compared to Canada.  Today I walked down the long hill to the shop Spar at the bottom where one can buy groceries without having to go into town. I hope to make it a daily journey, for the exercise but also for the view of homes and gardens along the way.

My mood has fluctuated between very positive and fairly low. I suspect that may even out a bit as I get used to things and people here and they get used to me. But I have what I need to stay healthy here - teachers and others sympathetic to us newbies from away, a room of my own with a view of grass and trees, plentiful food and a place to make tea, my Internet connection and laptop, and, of course my meds, which passed through each airport without inspection, almost to my disappointment, since I was ready for battle with a letter from my doctor listing my prescriptions.

I am glad to be here. It’s a balance between a challenge and a comfort because I feel I am well taken care of and yet my insecurities and awkwardness continue to make things difficult for me socially. At least writers are supposed to be strange! I always have that to fall back on.