Friday, March 19, 2010

to do... and not to do...

At the end of our first semester, my classmates and I got a week off for what they were calling "spring break", but I don't know about you, I can't call it spring break till, o I don't know... springs actually arrived :P
It started out kinda slow... almost sluggish...
Since AG is a boarding school, pretty much all of my friends go home to various areas in Moravia for the holidays, witch leaves me with little to do. Sunday I went to Brno with my host brother Tomas to see Avatar in 3D. It was pretty great although, as seems to be the trend here, it was all in Czech. I caught a surprising amount of it, just enough to keep up with the general plot, and when I got home, I read the summary on IMDB just to make sure I got it right.

Tuesday- Eva and I went went for a day of shopping in Brno, and I made plans with my friend Alice from lacrosse to go skiing the next day.
Wednesday- no such luck with skiing, i didn't approve it in time with rotary, so they had to go without me :(
Thursday, my fellow exchange student from Uhersky Brod came to Kromeriz . He arrived by bus at about 2pm and we went out for pizza at the pizzeria on the town square. That evening we went out to see "couple's retreat" at our local cinema (or kino ;)). It hadn't been dubbed, so we definitely understood it all, but it did have Czech subtitles. Kinda handy to match words to speech, so we got a little Czech help too :) Afterwards we stopped by a cafe for a drink and then headed home.
Friday- In the morning we got up early so that we could go with my host dad to work in Brno. There we caught a train to Prague, and then to Písek to spend the weekend with April, Hillary, and Kike (also exchange students). that night we just hung around and watched movies
(in English!) and talked and stuff.
Saturday morning we had a legit American breakfast with all the works! everyones parents had sent something from home, so we had chocolate chip pancakes, scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, bacon, and coffee and juice. We had the stuff for French toast, but by that point, we just weren't hungry any more! For lunch, April's host mom made us fried chicken and delicious stuffing. Then Tim, April and I went out to a tea house (caiovna) for some drinks.
Later that evening we met back up with Kike and Hillary for a luxurious American/Mexican style feast. We had legit Mexican quesadillas with rice real cheddar cheese and meat. Next on the menu was Kraft Mac N' Cheese, followed last and certainly not least by Mrs. Field's Cookies. Soooooo good :)
Next morning Tim and i got up early to catch our bus back to Brno, and then back to Kroměříž just in time to get some sleep before school the next day.
Back to school on Monday, i was joined in my class by two Canadian brothers, Josh and Aaron. They have a cousin who spent last year in Canada with them, so now they are going to spend the last half the this school year here, in the Czech Republic. the rest of the week went routinely, plus a little bit of tour guiding. Its so great to finally have someone to talk to and help out.
That Saturday the "weasel sisters" had another tournament in our neighboring town of Holisov. Except for the location, it was almost exactly like the last one: same teams, no wins, yet another ball to the face, and a none the less enjoyable time :)
Monday, went to spinning with Zuzanna and Rotary as usual. Since Chemistry was canceled on Tuesday, Josh, Aaron, Katka and I went out for lunch an Asian restaurant down the street from school. The food wasn't too bad, although the lo main noodles tasted a little different than im use too. After lunch we did some shopping in town then headed back to the AG bar to work on a environmental project for Religion class.
Wednesday, everyone who signed up, went for the orientation for volunteering at the physiatric hospital after school. everyone there seemed really nice, but i dazed out a little bit and almost fell asleep while the guy was talking to us :P I was grouped with Vendy, Misa, Jana, and we were scheduled to come the Thursday after next for out first time slot.
That Sunday was Valentines day, and since I didn't really see any card to hand out, i decided to make some heart shaped chocolate chip cookies for my class instead. I was talking to my sister in the kitchen while i was baking, and she asked me if this was something normal in America. I told her yea, not everyone gives Valentines day cards or candy, but its definitely not unusual. When i asked her the same question, she said that this was really abnormal. People usually only bring food to school when it is their birthday, and even then it was normally just for their friends.
I guess this kind of explains the strange reaction to my first batch of cookies at school earlier in the year :P
I handed them out in the last class on Friday, and they went over quite well, almost all of them were gone by the end of school. After school I went to the bar with some kids from the forth year class, and then home.
Weekends with my second host family aren't quite as eventful as they were with my first, but its actually turning out alright. With my Czech and social skills improving, i am spending a LOT more time out on the week days, so its nice to just relax, clean, and eat lunch with the family on the weekends.
Monday was spinning, but no Rotary, we had a special meeting scheduled for Thursday instead.
Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, so since AG is a Christian school, we got out of 2 class periods to go to Pana Maria church for mass. Since i'm part of the school choir, i got to help sing too.
After school Vendy Misa and Katka came over to my house to bake cookies. They had been asking me for the recipe , and since I am not too sure how to translate it into Czech, this was the next best thing. We went out and bought Lentilky (Czech M n' Ms) and used them as chocolate chips. We had a great time cooking talking and looking up music. The cookies turned out a little heavy on the butter, but otherwise good. My friends couldn't believe just how much sugar was used :P
Thursday we had our special Rotary meeting in Uhersky Hradec. They are a famously beautiful town, and are well know for their theater. We saw a production called "Emilia Galotti". It's a German Shakespeare type show, translated into Czech... I understood a good portion ofH it, enough to get the general plot. They did this really cool thing with a fish tank of water in the middle of the stage. They used different lights to set the mood of each seen, and it also had metaphorical purpose... its hard to explain... but it was really interesting :D
Friday I went to the business school ples at the Culture House with my host sister and her friends. I didn't really know anyone there, but by the end i had found some friends i'd met earlier in the year and we had a great time.
Since my friend Misa went away skiing with her family the whole next week, Katka and Vendy invited me to stay in their room for a couple nights. It was so awesome to sleep at school! (never thought i'd say that :P). We hung out in the AG bar in the evenings and in the room after the bar closed. And the best part yet... I got to sleep in! No walk to school means more sleep :)
Thursday we did our first real volunteering at the physiatric hospital. We ended up singing old traditional Czech songs with the elderly residents, and since most of them were ones that everyone knew by heart, I just stood and smiled for most of it, just enjoying the music.
Thursday was my host sisters 20th birthday, so that Saturday we went to Brno for some celebratory ice cream and shopping. We visited that wonderful gelatto place in Vankovka, and i had an ice cream pizza... mmmnam

And just like that.... Februarys gone :P

1) I'm sure I mentioned this before, maybe in my post about Halloween, but the 3D movie glasses are really nice here. No cardboard with tinted cellophane for the Czechs, no... these are fancy plastic ones with a built in anti theft alarm. If you have to get up to use the bathroom during the film, you have to turn them into the people at the doors before you can leave the theater. theres a good picture of Kristyna and i wearing them in "2 months!!!"

2)bread, i have recently been having several discussions about what is and isnt bread, and here is my consensus:if it comes in a loaf and you cut it up before you eat it-yes, its bread; but rolls, baguettes, and anything of this nature- not

3) in all churches, there is a score board like sign at the front of the church to tell which song will be sang next. it is really ironic to see an old, 17th century church with bright red glowing letters between statues

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