Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trip to the Czech Republic

After only 6 days in the Netherlands I was heading off again, this time to the Czech Republic, a country I'd never been to before and knew very little about. So the interns along with John and NY musician Jason Harrod set off on our first tour of the year. Living in N. Ireland if I want to travel abroad I have to get on a plane, so the 12 hour car journey that followed was certainly an experience . . .

Day one of school talks had limited success, but it was definitely a learning curve. I learned that Czech people are very reserved and reluctant to talk to or even look at people who they don't know. This is the polar opposite to N.Ireland where you say hello to virtually every person you pass on the street, whether you know them or not. I also discovered that the Czech Republic is largely atheistic and despite our presentations and videos being filled with pictures of crosses and churches only one boy during the entire week caught on to the fact that we are a Christian organisation. Finally I learned that Ireland/the UK seem to be the only place in Europe where school uniforms are worn, everywhere else students just wear what they want; it's kinda weird.

Our success in schools picked up, as already during our second day of giving talks we acquired a long list of pupils interested in receiving information about Atlantic Bridge. Therefore we're confident that we'll have a Czech team come to our Europe Week, which is being planned for the end of June 2017.

Highlights of the trip include a school which had a zoo and let me hold a chameleon, visiting a concentration camp in Terezin and going up Mount Jested and eating some pretty epic pancakes in the restaurant 1012 metres up.

Overall my first time in the Czech Republic was great. All of my host families were very welcoming and I met lots of lovely people. It was definitely an exciting way to kick off the beginning of my year with Atlantic Bridge.


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