December 16, 2010

It’s a beautiful sunny day.  I missed breakfast, and have been looking online at hotels and the Student Agency bus from CeskyKrumlov to Prague. The weekend before I come home I want to spend the weekend in Prague, possibly go to a concert or the ballet…

Wendy is leaving today. She has been my companion at meals and a source of tons of information. I will miss her a lot! She will be back at school in January but by then I’ll have gone.

Yesterday was an interesting and tiring day. Vlasta the music and art teacher picked me up from my dorm at 7:35 am along with his wife  Stephanka and teenage daughter. He drove the slippery streets to Budejovice (it had been snowing all night) and dropped up off at the Anglo-Czech High School where Stephanke teaches( I notice the name in Czech is reversed, the Cesko-angkicke gymnasium!)

I spent the morning attending several classes. In the first I talked to the students about my work and Nova scotia. Then I did my poetry workshop for an English class, then half a workshop with another group of students.  They were pleasant and attentive, but I noticed the difference between their level of English and that of the Townshend students who speak English all day.

In the middle of the morning, during the long break, there was a girls/guys fashion show, organized by the American ESL teacher.  I thought the girls’ outfits to be quite funny – sports jerseys and short skirts etc. We had hot cider as we watched them parade back and forth, to Czech and English commentary.

The school is housed a much older building than Townshend School with upper level hallways narrow and floored with linoleum. When Stephanke took me to lunch at the school cafeteria, shared with a technical school we had to walk some way down the street to reach it. I ate my potatoes and fish, with my eye on Stephanke’s plate of kndeliky, meat and a green vegetable which looked like shredded kale- a typical Czech meal which I would have liked to try.
Stephanke took me to the bus stop and bought me tickets to go home. In Hluboka, Igor, the janitor at Townshend, picked me up at the bus stop so I didn’t have to walk up the long hill from Spar. I was grateful because it snowed all day! And by night time, the roads were quite bad. I had planned to go back to Budejovice to give a presentation at the English conversation group at the university but the couple who were going to drive me nearly had an accident on the way home due to the snow and didn’t dare go out again. So I ended up napping all evening , only waking up at 10:30pm  or so to take my meds and go back to bed.  Thank goodness for sleep.

December 17, 2010

Last night was the staff party, a delicious affair. The chef really shone. There were three kinds of meat, fish (carp, a traditional Czech Christmas dish), salads, sweet potatoes, spinach lasagne and hot cider. It was the best meal I have had here yet and a perfect send-off for the holidays!  Today at lunch the student body was much reduced… many students have left for the holidays already, as exams ended at lunchtime today. I like the feeling of emptiness and the relative quiet... it bodes well for writing!

Happy holidays to you, and may they bring every good thing you wish for.