Saturday, October 10, 2009

Last Saturday, a group of 35 DIS students (including me) departed by bus for Prague.  We arrived Sunday morning, spent a whirlwind four days there, and then traveled to several small towns en route to a city in southern Bohemia (of the Sudetenland region), Cesky Krumlov.

I took some 1100 photos, and my camera is having a problem uploading them at the moment, but they're just little captures of what was really a hectic and exciting week.  It was great to get to know some kids I've been going to school with for almost two months now better.  I had some hilarious conversations, like when my friend Andrea and I decided to take a cue from the Germans and "peacefully occupy" a slice of chocolate cake.  It went a little something like this:

Me:  Oh, man, that cake needs to be protected.
Andrea:  Yeah...we...we need to annex that cake.
Me:  Oh, yeah, uh, it's not an occupation.
Andrea:  It's a peaceful...takeover.
Me:  Let's...separate the layers.  I'll exile this white chocolate to my side of the plate.

IT WAS GREAT.  We laughed a whole lot and imposed the unhappy history we'd learned on random events of the trip to make everything a little bit-- well, funnier, to be sure, but actually it really was applied learning!  We were brilliantly exploring the living history of Europe through food jokes.  Yeah, that a lie.  But honestly, great fun.  I think I'll want to do it every time I learn new and disturbing things about a nation's sordid past (that is, apply it to cake eating).

I also ditched dinner Friday night to go look for dirt to scoop up and save for my dad, as per his request.  Sadly, I forgot to kiss the ground, as he instructed, so I feel vaguely like I might have insulted my great-great grandparents.  Interestingly, "Josef" as a name showed up a lot (that's the name of a few generations of sons in my dad's family), and I'm sure that if I'd had the time to do so, it would have been possible to trace some family history in Opava (though the group never made it to northeastern Bohemia).

That's probably enough reflection and relaying to justify some more pictures.

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