Hard to believe that it is already December. A good reminder that I need to get packages in the mail if I want them to arrive by Christmas. Things are going quite well here. I'm keeping busy as always, and doing my best to remain focused. I had my second experience in a Czech home this week. That was really exciting. We went over to the house of another one of the teachers and his girlfriend who also used to teach here. Their flat is really nice. They live in the top of an old building, and have completely remodeled it themselves. It's a really nice place. We had a nice dinner, and after several glasses of Cola I remembered that it is common for them to just fill your glass whenever you run out, so I made sure to leave a swallow or two at the bottom so I wouldn't totally drink them out of Coke.:)
I also met another English teacher in Cheb this weekend. She is here independently from Canada and is teaching at a gymnasium (which is like a high school). She went with Tammy and me to Karlovy Vary yesterday and we had a nice time just wandering around the city and shopping. There was also that exciting opportunity to go to McDonalds. I really can't put in to words how much I enjoy going to McDonalds overseas. It's so strange because I really never eat there at home. Ah well. It was extra good in my way of looking at things.
Today we had our first house guests as well. A couple of the guys from our church came over for a taco dinner. I was a bit of a Mary, just showing one of them pictures of Hong Kong while Tammy and Naomi made lunch, but I did the dishes so it worked out in the end. It was nice to have guests (even if it did mean some extra cleaning) and gave us an opportunity to hang out with people besides ourselves, which is always welcome.
Next weekend we're having some of the teachers from Prague come out to experience West Bo. I'm really looking forward to that as well. We'll be taking them out to Loket so we can go to the big Christmas Market there. I'll definitely have some new pictures to post next week.
Please keep us in your prayers as the days are getting shorter and darker all the time. The gloomy weather tends to put a damper on my spirits, and I really don't want that to be the case. We're also all getting to the point where life has become routine. It's no longer this big rush or excitement that we live in Europe. We're just here in Cheb, day in and day out, making lesson plans and trying to figure out how to help our students understand our language. It can be difficult to communicate with the people in stores and restaurants, and I find myself longing for things to just make sense easily, and to be able to know what to do from day to day.
Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention. Friday afternoon Naomi and I both joined Tammy at the local orphanage. I don't really understand the system here. Tammy doesn't really know either, but a lot of them have families that they visit on occasion, so I think most of them are not up for adoption or anything. I don't really get it, but it was a lot of fun. We were playing with a group of younger kids that ranged in age from about 2 or 3 to probably 7 or 8. I always enjoy hanging out with little ones, and they didn't seem to mind not being able to understand us. They just openly ran to us and were happy for every ounce of attention, sitting on our laps and climbing on our laps as though this was the most natural thing in the world though they'd never seen me in their lives.
I must confess it is often difficult for me to decipher exactly what my "mission" here is. For now I'm just trying to love the people that I come into contact with, and to teach to the best of my abilities.