So I'm going to see if today I can manage to get my photos to download. I'm not sure what was going on yesterday. The joy of picky internet connections! Sometimes I just have to take what I can get. Today, I'll try to get up some of the great photos we took of our students in their Halloween Ghoulery!
Okay, so I guess I'll actually begin with a picture of me, just because. I really do find it pretty handy that my normal wardrobe can so easily be turned into my Halloween costume. It was really nice to just dress up as the other side of me :)
Now for some pictures of my lovely students:
This picture shows all of our daily students that were in attendance for the Halloween Party. These students are here every day from 9 to 12:15 for a pretty intense language study time. I'm only with them on Monday and Friday. There are two groups. The first group are really beginners The second group are considered Pre-Intermediate. They actually cover a fairly wide range of levels. We have some who are really just starting out, and others who speak quite well and can understand most of the things I say.
Here is my L2 class. Back row L to R: Tomas (who is another one of our teachers), Zbynek, Ellen, Michelle, Maria, Lenka, Henry. Front Row: Martin, Tammy (teacher), me and Tomas. We have a couple students who didn't come, but this gives you a little idea of our class! They're really good fun.
Even some of my evening students were up for the festivities. I had one class bring in cookies and candy and candles and even some Halloween napkins. It's rather funny seeing as how they don't even celebrate Halloween here. Anyhow, I was amused that the women in the class came dressed in orange shirts and the men had dark shirts on. I just had to snap some photos. Then, to be even more amusing and dramatic they decided to make it look like they were really exhausted by all the work I was making them do! I promise I'm really not that heartless. Especially not on a party day!
So here we have Stonda, Tony, Myrka, and and Iveta. I must say I'm not really sure how to spell any of their names except Tony. :) Even though Czech is a very phonetic language it's still tricky to know how names work.
On Friday night we had our second pub night. I wasn't feeling well, so I ended up just sitting in a corner with these same students. I actually didn't have a whole lot of my students come, so it was nice to sit with the people I know. Besides, none of them were smoking, so it was even nicer. And they're a lot of fun. I really enjoy having chances to get to know them outside of class.
Now it's Sunday and the weekend is nearly over. I'm still trying to get over my cold. Not so much fun. But that is just the way life goes. We have a really short work week this week because we have our Thanksgiving retreat next weekend. We'll be traveling to Prague either Wednesday night or Thursday morning and then joining people there as we head down to a town I can't remember the name of. We'll be meeting with all the Central Europe team, which is about 50 people total. I'm really excited about the prospect of seeing everyone, as well as having a chance to worship together with them.
Last night we went to the youth group at our church. It was the first time we had attended and I really enjoyed it. One of our usual interpreters, Zuzka, was the speaker. She did an amazing job, reminding us that our identity is not a matter of what we do, but what we allow Christ to do in us. It really got me to thinking about how often I allow myself to find my identity in my own wanderings, rather than in Christ. When I really feel like I'm drifting, like my life has no real purpose, it is good to remember that there is someone else leading me. I still don't know all the reasons God brought me to the Czech Republic. All I know is that He is the one who led me here, and as long as I follow Him there is a point, even if it is beyond my own limited understanding.
We sang a lot of songs that we knew in English, and it was so nice to be able to let loose and praise God together with these young people. Our church tends to be a bit stiff. We sing hymns to organ music, seated stiffly in our chairs. Even when the youth lead portions of the music we remain pretty stoic. But at the youth group there was more freedom to really get into the music, rather than worrying about all the people sitting around me. I felt so blessed, as well as just enjoying actually knowing the songs :) So I'm really looking forward to the chance to sing songs in English this weekend.