Friday, July 23, 2010

Busy Summer

Hi Everyone,
My life has been very busy since the last post!  Jiri and I took two trips, one to Pardubice (here in the Czech Republic), and a trip to Zurich, Switzerland.  In the midst of those two trips I also had a small project to work on, dealt with my normal health issues, and have worked on some other writing, along with a guest post on Expat Harem.  My Czech Off the Beaten Path Zazzle shop also made its first payout--that's a very nice feeling!  I'm also a year older since my last post. :0) Right now I'm in a "calm" time, and so have some time to update you about things here!

I will be posting about the trips to Pardubice and Zurich, but today I wanted to tell you about our "International Day" last weekend.  Jiri and I were very busy with some foreign visitors on Sunday.  Our church, St. Clements Anglican-Episcopal Church, often times has tourists visiting, especially during the spring and summer months.  Last weekend, we had a tour group, from the States, come and worship with us.  This group, of about 40 Americans, contacted our chaplain, Rev. Ricky Yates, and said they would like to invite some members from the congregation to lunch and discussion after church.  What a great invitation!  I volunteered to be one of those who had lunch with this group, and I was not disappointed at all.   

We visited  u Benedikta, a small restaurant/pub not too far from church.  The restaurant was just big enough to hold our group of 40 Americans, plus 6-8 members of the congregation.  I sat at a table with three ladies.  They were very nice and we had a wonderful conversation.  I must say we didn't only discuss Prague and religion in this country, but I was also asking them about their lives and their trip. This group's trip took them from Germany, to Prague, and then on to Budapest.  We had a fun visit and we even exchanged contact information.  I'm looking forward to hearing from these ladies about how the rest of their trip went.  And I have to say I enjoyed visiting with this group from the States; it was a very lovely touch from home. 

While I was to lunch with the Americans, Jiri was with a couple of visiting colleagues--one from Germany, and one from Israel.  He took them on a sightseeing tour of the old parts of Prague.  They had a great time visiting the old Jewish cemetery and synagogues, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and more.  After my lunch with the American tour group, I stopped by the store to pick up a few things for dinner.  We were hosting Jiri's two visitors for dinner at our house.  Anyway, Jiri and his colleagues had a great time. When they were finished sightseeing, they proceeded to our flat, where I had just finished getting everything ready for our supper.  We had such a great visit with Jiri's colleagues.  They are all collaborating on a project, and it was fun to hear them discuss that, along with the state of world and many other topics.  

So, Sunday was an "International Day" here at our house, and a very good one, at that.  I enjoyed every part of the day---from the visit with the Americans in the morning, to our dinner guests in the evening.  It was busy, but very fun and insightful.  You always learn to see your home from a different perspective when you have visitors.  And you learn more about yourself, too.  I learned I'm becoming a bit more comfortable with people from different countries and backgrounds.  This is one of the changes that has come about in my life since becoming an expat almost four years ago.  I'm also becoming a bit more flexible in my own thinking and beliefs.  That's not a bad thing...and I hope this process is making me into a better person overall.

That's all for next post will be about Pardubice--a very pretty city in the Pardubice Region of the Czech Republic.  And I'll have another post from our trip to Zurich!

Have a great day!

God bless,
Sher :0) 

Photo credit:  limabeanlover on Photobucket

(c) 2010 by czechoffthebeatenpath


Karen said...

That is such a great observation about becoming more comfortable with all nationalities as an expat. It's so fun to take it as the norm now - it's enriching! But I realize that if I couldn't leave North America, the opportunity was there all the time for me to interact with expats from other countries living in North America, foreign exchange students, and new immigrants.

In America, we often view these people as "a policy issue" rather than as living breathing exciting human beings we can learn from. I should have invited a lot more of them to dinner and enjoyed the opportunity to share and learn.

Sher said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for your insightful comment. I completely agree with you. We often only interact with foreigners back home, in the US, withing some "safe" environment. For me, I had interactions with foreigners back home, but it was always in the confines of church and work. These are fairly safe places to interact somewhat with foreigners.

Now, being abroad in the big, wide world I am interacting more often with foreigners than ever before, and not only in the safe confines of church and work. I'm much more comfortable with "foreigners" now than at any point in my life...more because I'm also a foreigner, and now find myself in the same boat as others who live outside of their home countries.

Have a great day,
Sher :0) said...

Hi Sher,

Good to see you blogging again and glad to read that you're feeling more comfortable with 'foreigners', even that funny British/German couple who live near you :)

Seriously, thanks for your help last Sunday morning with the visiting Americans and for your links to the Church website and my blog.

Sher said...

Hi Chaplain,
It feels very good to be back to blogging and to be in touch with everyone again! :0)

Well, that couple you mention has been very instrumental in bringing about this change in me :0)

And you're so welcome! Thanks for asking me to help out. I had a wonderful time and would definitely want to do this again if the opportunity arose!

Have a great day,
Sher :0)

Roz said...

It sounds like you all had a wonderful day! I must admit that I now feel more at home in a group of international people than in a group of people of my own nationality. Perhaps it's because we share the experience of being a foreigner in another country.

It's definitely a many-faceted experience to live outside your home country and I think that many people who have lived all their lives in one country find it hard to relate to such an experience.

Sher said...

@Roz: You said it! That seems to be one of the effects of living an expat life. Our perspectives have changed, and differ from people in our home country, so we no longer feel so at home with our fellow countrymen.

It is a multi-faceted experience, and I'm finding that some people, back in the US, do have a hard time relating to my life here.

Have a great day,
Sher :0)