This has been an interesting week. On Saturday the staff had a party, organized by the irrepressible Martina and Mala, whose non-alcoholic cocktails and south sea dishes were the highlight of the evening. I had a good rest on Sunday but, halfway through the week and I feel like I need more sleep… well I will take as much rest as I need and not worry about it. I did tell Keith, the vice principal here, before I came that I need a lot of down time and rest… and I think he is respectful of that.

Tuesday there was a Baha’i study circle at the home of Keith’s parents-in-law. They live in some town houses on Teachers Street (not sure if that is a nickname or not) which is off the main road, down a wooded path. It was interesting to me to see the rows of townhouses, and to climb the stairs of our hosts to the third floor -  they seemed like a winding staircase in a castle tower. On the way there I walked with some students who are also a part of the group, but on the way back I told them to go ahead, because it was cold and I knew I would be going more slowly than them. It was very dark (hence the flashlight that the students borrowed from our hosts) and I was a little afraid there would be some dogs running loose or other big animals, waiting to take me as prey!

Wednesday was my poetry workshop. We watched some videos of poet Mary Oliver and Baha’i spoken word artist AnisMojgani, and then did some writing exercises, and shared the poetry we produced.  I think the students enjoyed themselves and I have been asked to do the same workshop at a school in the city of Ceske Budejovice. The next night at the arts festival here at the school, three of the guys from the workshop read their poems.  It was a wonderful evening, full of song, dance, and even tai kwon do by Mingji, a student from Korea. There were also refreshments on sale to raise funds to buy a bigger terrarium for a snake which I think the primary school owns! I hate to think what they feed him.

Yesterday was a big day for me.  I took a bus into the centre of the village for the first time. I realized I had gone too far when I saw the supermarket, but it was too late. The young bus driver knew some English and was kind enough to indicate he would be coming back the other way in about half an hour. I thought we were on the way to a city ten miles away but in fact we sat near some railroad tracks for 20 minutes while the driver drank tea and played Madonna and then some raunchy English music. Finally we went back to town and I got off at the right stop. I did my errands, tried out the free and clean toilet at the information centre, and then back to wait for the bus back to Townshend. I rewarded myself with a chocolate bar at Spar, climbed the long hill and went to bed that night grateful for a roof over my head, a hot meal in my stomach and the kindness of strangers.

A snow day: