Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A little time in Breclav

This past weekend I made a trek down to the small Moravian town of Breclav. The city is located just north of the Slovakian border, and took about 9 hours to get to from Cheb. The reason for going: a CA meeting. This was a chance to get together with the other "Central Administrators" in the Central European Region. A total of 8 of us were there, three from Czech, a couple from Slovakia, and two girls from Hungary, along with Kelly our Field Director. Lots of big titles, I know. Anyhow, this weekend was mostly a chance for us to go over what our objectives are for this year in Central Europe, and to get to know each other a bit.
As part of the "get to know each other" session, Kelly had each one of us speak about ourselves for 3 minutes. While most balked at this extremely large time, I took it all in stride. It reminded me a bit of when we played a game at 180 where you were supposed to talk about some topic for as long as possible without repeating any words except the usually fillers and the topic words in question. My words were "Cheese" and "Alaska." This was before I actually lived in Alaska, but I managed to talk about it for more than a minute and a half before Derek just stopped me and said I'd won hands down :) So this challenge wasn't overly worrisome for me.
While the first few people talked about their names, and the origin of said names, I opted to talk about my alternate personalities of yore: Sema, and Super-bionic Power Girl! Oh, those were the days. When I used to wander around the forests of Horse Creek, wrapped safely in the wealth of my own over active imagination with ten or twenty Timmy's by my side...
We spent all day on Saturday in meetings. My little body, worn out by long hours spent on the train, couldn't take any more sitting, and I spent most of the afternoon session standing up so as not to fall apart all together.

I stood up to take this picture of the entire crew giving Kelly their rapt attention!
Around 4:30, when we were done with the official sessions, the real craziness began. Clearly my mind had been stifled for too long, and the "artsy" side decided to take over.
The hostel we stayed in was backed up to a Zamek (chatteau) which is basically a castle without fortifications. The day was positively spectacular, and the autumn sun was beginning to set, turning the colored leaves a positively vivid shade. Laura and Emeshea were happy to give into the madness of my mind as well, and a photo shoot ensued. Hey, at least this time I wasn't totally by myself, right?

That last picture is of a modern church that one of my students told me about before I went so I wanted to make sure I got it in there somewhere. And isn't my roommate just way too cute? We're really just a couple of posers.
After the day of meetings we had another horrifyingly long train ride home. After two days on the train like that I wasn't sure I ever wanted to see a train again. However, I'm off for a similarly long trip this weekend as well. Only this time I'll be going it alone (sigh). I'm heading out to Ostrava to see my CA crew over there, and check out the town. While Naomi and I passed through the train station there on our way to Krakow, I've never actually been there, so it'll be good to see it.
Now I'd best see if I can come up with anything interesting for the presentation I have to do on American History on Friday!

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