09 September, 2010


Today marks a week of being here in the Czech Republic. Allow me to break down my first couple of days....

We arrived at the airport at 12:00 pm on September first; my husband, my mother, all ten of our bags (three suitcases and two carry-ons a piece) and me. Our flight was to leave at 2:50 pm and we were scheduled to land in Frankfurt, Germany at 10:35 am the next day... we were in for a long ride! After successfully navigating through LAX International we grabbed some lunch and waited to board our giant Lufthansa plane.

Kelsey, right after landing in Frankfurt, Germany for our one hour layover
23 hours later (taking into account the nine hour time difference) we arrive in Praha, Ceska Republika with nine bags... that's right, my biggest bag, with my favorite clothes and my uniform, was missing! I filed a report and we met Pavla and Ruth outside. We walked over to the car and our bags barely fit (maybe God was saying to me that my missing bag was a good thing). We headed over to the DHQ in Praha and met a few more people, Major Mike (Ruth's husband, in charge of Cz. Rep.), Ales (our new boss) and some others. I was barely awake and was being asked if I wanted tea or coffee every ten minutes, all I wanted was to go to my new home and sleep.

The original plan was that Kelsey and I would stay the night with Ruth and Mike and then drive to Brno the next morning with Ales. Thank the Lord that the plans changed! Ales drove us that night; we left for Brno about 5 o'clock. On the way, we spoke of likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses and other things.... somewhere, I'd say about 35-40 minutes into the drive, I was wrapped in two new Armada Spasy fleece jackets, sitting in the back seat when my eyes felt warm and tired. I tried with all my might to stay awake, doing the embarrassing head-bob and the chime in to the conversation every so often, but the task was unmanageable. A little while later we arrived at McDonald's. From the parking lot it seemed like any old McDonald's, but when I stepped inside, I realized, McDonald's is taken very differently here! It was without a doubt the nicest MD I'd ever seen! There was a McCafe Coffee stand and there were booths with pillows and candles. The bathrooms had the double flush (half flush for liquid and full flush for solids) and the toilets were closed off from the sink area. We sat down and I began eating the biggest, freshest snack wrap I've ever seen when I asked Kelsey to go get some Ketchup. He stood and was stopped by Ales reaching into his pocket for some money. "You will need to pay for the Ketchup." We were stunned, the nicest MD and you had to pay for the condiments... how funny.

Finally, we arrive to our flat. It is fully equipped and I fall into bed and go to sleep no later that 8:30 pm.

Of course the next morning I wake up at 5:45ish am and start rummaging through cabinets. Folding my clothes and making eggs and toast. My bag was delivered that morning about 8:30 to my doorstep, oh joy I have my uniform! ;) This was Friday morning and for the most part this day was pretty uneventful. We met with Sarka and Ales (pronounced: Sharka and Alesh) for a couple of hours afterwards we bought our tram pass. We were showed around a bit, got our money exchanged and had mall food for dinner at a place called Panda, it was Asian food, but not Panda Express. On our way home, we were brave and told Sarka we could get home by ourselves.... we took the right tram home, but we had a mile to walk to our house uphill and we weren't sure what hill to take. We started walking and we look at a map and our building isn't there. So we walk another direction (mind you it is almost 8 pm and it is very dark outside) and we ask a man which way Teyschlova (our building and street) is and he points up the hill and through hand gestures, he makes out two buildings (oh yeah the whole, everyone speaks English-untrue! my life is currently a big game of charades), we were to go through them and there we would find our building. Thankfully, we got home. We were pooped. We got into bed and were asleep again by 8:30 pm.

My first meal cooked at home :)

Again, the next morning we wake up 5:45ish and we start getting ready. I put a converter on my computer speakers so that I can listen to the Ipod and it's working fine for about ten seconds when BAM the lights go out, I see sparks and something shoots me in the back. The power is out and it's 6 am so we can't call Ales and Sarka for help. We wait in our barley lit flat for 9 o'clock when we can call Sarka for help. She tells us to get a chair and flip the breakers in the box above the door (we searched everywhere for this box!), but nothing worked, so she said she would be over in an hour to fix it. We see her from the window as she and her two daughters, Eliska and Katka (Pro:Elishka and Kotkah) arrive. There is another breaker box in the corridor and they had flipped off, Sarka broke into the box and flipped them back on, she was my new hero. The girls left and Kelsey and I were starving. Our food was bad and we hadn't eaten all morning. In order to lock the door, even from the inside, you need to use your keys, so I thought to myself, we should just leave our extra key in the door. Bad idea. We go to lock our door from the outside and nothing, we can't turn the key, we try to open the door and nothing, we can't get in! I call Sarka and she comes back. She had to call a lock smith and 775 crowns later (that's $45 US) we are able to get into our house again. I was thoroughly embarrassed by the trouble I had gotten us into in the third day of being here.

There are many more funny little things, but I am running out of time to share.


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