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My Diary in the Czech Republic


By zeynep - Posted on 09 March 2010

08.02.2010
MONDAY
Our flight to Istanbul was at an early hour and our meeting at the airport gave every one of the team members great excitement.This project idea had been maintained since 2008 and now it was approved and time to fly to Czech Republic,where Jan Amos Comensky was born,for our first mobility.Everything went well with the flights and we arrived in Prague at about noon.Fortunately,Artem,our Belarussian guide, was there to pick us up from the airport and take to MB,where we had planned to stay for 4 days.He was involved in Comenius Project work when he was at high school,so we had a lot in common to talk about.
 
at the airport with Artem
 
MB is about 2 hours’ distance from Prague and the road offered us great landscape with a lot of pine trees under snow,small houses on both sides,a peaceful atmosphere and not crowded roads.The journey itself was another adventure for us.
 
When we arrived in MB,our colleagues,Franta and Karel,and 5 beautiful Czech students had been waiting for us at the local bus station.It was snowy and they were all cold,which made me feel upset.Karel was holding a carnation in his hand and the moment I saw it,I realized it was form me :)
 
When the students departed,the teachers went to the cute,friendly,comfortable and clean hotel in MB.How surprised I was when I found out that “tea” is pronounced in the same way in Turkish as in the Czech language.This was unbelievably good as we,Turkish people,drink a lot of tea.When we ordered tea in Czech Republic,we ordered it in Turkish but they thought that we gave our order in the Czech language :).It was as if we were still at home,not out of Turkiye.Everything was much better than I had thought.
 
Later,we,all the teachers,went out for dinner with no pork:).It was a local restaurant that we ate at and we had dinner chatting,laughing.
09.02.2010
TUESDAY
We met at Franta’s part of school at 10 a.m. for project discussion.Franta’s school is a technical school and Karel’s is a gymnasium.They are united on the request of the local authorities.It was exciting form me to see the Czech and Turkish students working together.The collaboration worked and they produced some questions for our would-be questionnaire and they uploaded them in the website.
 

...project discussion...

                        school examination

 
After more discussion,we ate at school.It was strange for us that when we ordered water,we ended up drinking sparkling,mineral water and we had to say “water,no gas” if we wanted to have normal water.I love these peculiarities as such differences are of interest.
In the afternoon,we visited Karel’s part of school and were shown around from labs to sports hall,classrooms,the recreation room.We were really interested in the statutes,photos and pictures on the walls.We consider those photos and pictures motivate students to pay more attention to details.There,we met Mr. Stanislav STAVA,the headmaster who had a smiling face,a friendly nature and informal manners which I liked best.I have never been a person of formality.

What is more,we visited the local museum.Our colleagues made every effort to make us feel at home there.At the museum,what attracted my attention most was the amblems of the families that had lived in that mansion before it was transformed into a museum.Also,the religious paintings on the walls and the items produced locally were among the other things that made me interested.Oh,now I feel I should compile all my notes that I took visiting the local musuem in MB and in Prague.

After all this,we went up to the local church tower in order to have a sight of the environment from above.It was worth doing this as the view was very beautiful.Karel showed me the way to Vienna.We felt like Quasimodo when we saw the bell in the tower climbing the stairs.On the way back,I heard one of my students fell of the stairs and she was crying.However,it was another game of my mischievous Aziz!
 
Lastly,we went bowling for a game in which our team lost to the Czech team,but I think it was just normal as the Turkish team had me in it!Even a single day was enough for us to get to know more about each other,we the Turkish and they the Czech.I think that was what the Comenius Project aimed to achieve.The more we know the closer we’ll be.Now I could feel we were much closer.
 
After all,when the students departed,we,colleagues,went to a supermarket just for the sake of walking around but as usual,I found myself sticked to candles’ section.I was planning to light them in my hotel roomwhile chatting to Fatmagul about how good our time was on the first day of our visit.
10.02.2010
WEDNESDAY
We met at the local bus station for the bus to Jihlava,the regional capital.We had been warned against the cold there and to put on suitable clothes to keep warm.It was not that cold,though,at least on my side.We went to the zoo and one more time (the previous one at the bowling hall) Franta told us we didn’t need to pay for the entrance.I thought this was not that common among European people.In Turkiye we are always willing to treat others but Czech colleagues were like us :) Maybe more.The weather was clean,peacuful,it was quiet and it was the time when I thought I was on holiday escaping all the fuss of life.
On the bus to and from Jihlava,we talked with Karel about an array of subjects ranging from history to politics,lifestyles,religion,the nature and citylife.It was amazing to find out how much we share in common in thought.
11.02.2010
THURSDAY
Today,we had an opportunity  to visit Franta’s village and the local distillery although none in the Turkish team drank alcohol.However,seeing the local taste being produced live drew a lot of my attention.There were bottles of the local people on whose request the quantity of the drink is determined.Karel tasted the apple,apricot and plum extracts for us and the person in charge gave us small bottles in a box as a present.I also bought a bottle of drink as a present for my headmaster at the language course.
 
 Then,we went on to visit the local furniture factory.Franta’s village is really quiet.I wish to see the place one more time when the nature starts to blossom.
 
At 11 a.m.,we met the students at the bus-station,this time to go to Trebic,where we went to the Jewish Town in order to see the sinagog in Unesco’s list.We had a guide there who spoke English.Dear Karel and Franta... :)They had thought everything beforehand. 
I felt really sorry for the Jewish people killed in the Holocaust and couldn’t help writing on the diary,the notebook, a few words coming out of my heart.
 
Afterwards,we walked in the narrow streets of the Jewish town and to our surprise,we were shown a house in which there was a well but closed with a thick glass cover.A well in a house!Surprising.
12.02.2010
FRIDAY
Today,I was feeling a bit low as we were departing from MB but before departure,we were taken to the skating rink for a session together with all the Czech and Turkish team members.It was great experience,we had a good laugh.Then,all the students went for lunch and we,colleagues,ate at the hotel with Dear Mr.Stava.
 I couldn’t help my tears while departing.
 
Our first night in Prague at our friendly hostel.I liked it.
13.02.2010
SATURDAY
We met our guide,Dasha, at the reception and visited a lot of destinations in Prague like Vysehrad,Wenceslas Square,the Astronomical Clock Tower,opposite the tower is there Tyn Cathedral,and Charles Bridge.We came back to the hostel by tram and my angel,Artem,had prepared everything for us.Even when we stepped on the tram,we were instructed what to do by text messaging.I think this boy should rule the country : Artem Bogdanovich.He called me at the reception desk and advised me to see a black light theatre called WOW.We were taken from the hostel to the theatre building and watched a magnificient play in which there was live rain,snow,bubbles,big balls for us to play with and even spiders climbing on us!!!We were amazed by the performance.Artem,you are unbelievable!
 
14.02.2010
SUNDAY
We met Ksenya,our guide today,at the reception and went to the Jewish Quarter.What architecture!We saw the old cementery,also.Then,we went to see the apostles in the Clock Tower playing.Ah,it was a social event to me as everybody there was waiting to catch the sight of apostles playing like we were.
 
St Nicholas Church,Petrin,the Observation Tower were among the other destinations we went to.And the last place was Golden Lane,where Franz Kafka,famous Czech writer,lived.Another unforgettable day!
 
At night,we went to a beautiful pub with the students and Artem,sat there until 3 a.m. talking about a wide range of subjects.Time flied.
 
15.02.2010
MONDAY
Hugging Artem and Ksenya,goodbye Czech Republic.Looking forward to visiting you again.

Note : We couldn’t cycle in MB as there was snow everywhere and Karel said it was even colder than it had been previously.Instead,we discussed about the project working on the website.However,the goal of the Comenius Project is more or less fulfilled: We became good friends. 

 

 

Ciao,dear

It was fantastic.There are too many other things that I haven't put in my diary to be short but I am really looking forward to meeting you.Fortunately it is not long time later :-)

What a wonderful week you had, I would have been there!
Ciao,
Alfredo

Thank you, Zeyno, for your lovely diary. I enjoyed reading it a lot; it evoked all the beautiful moments, all the great five days all of us spent together. I do hope you and your students will come again!

Kind regards,
Karel