This is the last blog that I’m required to write for my digital media class. I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed writing about this topic. Reliving my memories and sharing my stories has been a lot of fun. I’m not sure how healthy it’s been though. See I’m one of those people completely guilty of living in the past. What I’m doing today is never as good as what I did yesterday. It’s a chronic disorder I’ve got going on. My fiance always reminds me that I reminisce instead of living my life for what it is at the moment. He’s right. Sometimes I need to remember to take my head out of the mental photo albums of “the good ole days” and start realizing that I’m LIVING the times that will be my memories tomorrow. This blog is going to take a little bit of a different pace than the others. I decided to be a little more introspective than usual and answer a few questions I’ve been getting. So here it goes.
Why was I in Prague?
That story starts in a really sad way, actually. The guy I was dating at the time (and who I’m currently engaged to) and I broke up for about a month. My life took a major league dip and it was all I could do not to turn everything on its head. I was depressed, to say the least. I decided that I needed a year away. I had a friend doing some mission work in Prague at a school teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) and that sounded perfect for me. I’m an English major and though I’m fully aware that literature and English as a language are two completely different subjects, I figured I knew enough to be ok. Plus the people at the school encouraged me that they took any body and would train us all there. I signed up and even after I got back together with my boyfriend I was still pumped to go… so I went.
What exactly did you DO there?
Basically it was indentured servitude or paid slavery or whatever you want to call it. It was terrible. The classroom was phenomenal. I’ve never been more comfortable in my own skin than when I stood in front of my students and imparted knowledge to them. It was everything else that drove me crazy. I was there as a student missionary so I was in charge (along with 10 others who were there with me) of teaching all my classes, organizing church and sabbath school, Bible studies, cooking for potluck, grading, editing textbooks, etc etc etc. I really could go on forever. Prague was a beautiful backdrop, but I was honestly inside for 70% of my stay there. It was NOT a vacation. haha. I encourage going out for a mission year whole-heartedly, but if you’re looking for a paid vacation you might try one of the islands. I hear that’s a bit more lax. :)
Who are these roommates/flatmates you’re always talking about?
Ok that’s fair. I mention these people a lot in my posts and I suppose you’re all probably curious as to who they are. They were other students just like me who came from all over the U.S. to do just what I was doing. There were six of us from Southwestern Adventist University (Austin, Ky, Eliseo, Aleksis, one of the Andys, and me), two from Walla Walla (Chelsea & Montana), one from Texas Tech University (Kristin), one from Southern (Missy) and one from Union (another Andy). Originally there were twelve of us, but two left and one new one came, so in the end we were the “faithful eleven”, as our boss called us.
What was your ACTUAL favorite part of Prague?
Considering you won’t all have the experience I had, I can’t say the people, though they were my absolute favorite things about being in Prague. You won’t get to live with the people I lived with and you won’t get to laugh with the people I laughed with, so you won’t get to experience my truly FAVORITE thing about last year. However, have no fear. Prague still has plenty of amazing things to offer. My favorite thing was simply the atmosphere. Taking walks in that city provides a euphoria all its own. And it never gets old. I could’ve walked for hours every day and seen the same things over and over and still have felt completely wonderful every time. If, no WHEN, you go to Prague be sure to take walks. Just wander. It’s great. Seeing the castle in the distance, crossing the bridge, dodging horse-drawn carriages in Old Town Square, it’s all great.
Writing this blog may have taken me on an unhealthfully lengthy trip down memory lane, but I’m so grateful that it’s reminded me how lucky I am to have had the opportunity that I did to experience all this. I’ll say it one last time: take the opportunity to live inor even just visit, Europe at some point. You’ll never ever regret it.