Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, not yet here. I have warned my family that I am going to be making a huge American dinner, so December 4 will be a big day. I have invited some friends, so we will see who can come. It is my big chance to prove that at least one night a year, we eat more than McDonalds.

Life here continues to have its ups and downs. I can have a great day, just because lunch was edible and French class was fun. Tuesdays are quickly becoming my favorite days, because I have music for 2 of my seven hours at school, and languages for 4 more. That is always nice. And then, I have had skype lessons with Sherri in the afternoons, which is the cherry on top. But I seem to be able to have a sucky one just as easily. I guess I have something more to work on!

Moje čeština ještě je strašná, ale je nejtěšši jazyk. Pretty much all of that was spelled wrong, and my word oreder is horrendous. But, it continues to improve. When we are doing something I have already learned, I understand about 70 percent of math class. I understand all of one French class, and only the textbook of the other. German is still way over my head, but I am slowly builing a vocabulary through all of my quatrilingual pictures in lists. Well, they are mostly trilingual, because Spanish is long gone. But it will come back. So, no worries.

I have started trying a little bit more in my classes. I still am not doing all of the lab write-ups and aktualitas, whatever those are, but more. I wrote a little ditty on antimatter and recited it for the class in Physics. Not going win the Pulitzer any time soon, but you have to start somewhere.

I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do when I get home. It really hit me that life is going on without me when I saw a new relationship status on an American classmate´s facebook. I could not believe it! Those two? Really? But I think that some things will just click back when I get home. Or at least I hope so. I have already been thinking a lot about college, and what I am looking for. The school I was planning on working towards, Middlebury, does not have Czech. and being without music for a few months really woke me up to how much it measn to me and how much of a music snob I am. I realized that if I wan to play with an orchetra that sounds great as an adult, I need to have some quality music study behind me. Lots of thoughts. But one thing I do know is that nxt year, I am going to work my bunda off.
Next week, I will be a third done! I cannot believe it! I have done so much, but also so little. I have traveled around Europe, Vienna, Barcelona and the High Tatras. I have ridden a cross country train home by myself. I have passed a few tests, and failed a few (a lot. Most of the time, I do not get grades...). I have learned Czech, German, Portuguese, Turkish, and brushed up my Japanese. I have learned how to give good hugs, at least better, and the power of physical contact. I have learned how much I really love everyone in my life in the US, and started to love new people too. I now know that I AM a picky eater, and a glass of fresh milk that does not come in a shelf stable box can make my day.

Oh, and I have been meaning to give you all a breakdown of Czech names.

For girls,

Verča/Kačka something-ova

for boys,

Kuba/Honza/Martin/Marek something related to fruit or animals

Neither have middle names. They do not do that here. As you may have noticed, names have a lot less variation here. I blame that on the fact that the Czech Republic is certainly no ethnic mixing pot, and also, they celebrate Name Days, meaning that since each day has a name, there are only like 365 names. Throw in the Czech equivalent of Smith, and everyone has pretty much the same name. Czech people solve this issue by having an obsession with nicknames. A certain little fellow I have babysat would not enjoy this. I have become Meg or Meggy, which I have adjusted to, but soem peopel have so many choices! Let us take for example

Kateřína-Kateřínka- Kačka- Katka- Kitka- Kačyska- Kočka- Kači-Kiki

So, I may have thrown in one or two words that just happened to start with K, but you get the idea. So, coming in as the new person in an established world, I spent my first month or so knowing no names. I could recognize people, but names? Still, I interact with peopel and have no idea what to call them. Pretty embarassing, but I am working on it. Just like I am working on getting those pictures up...

Hugs full of love,
Meghan :D

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Home again home again back the same day

Vienna is a nice city. But it is even nicer when you are with people you love. The AFS trip was far too short, but definitely worth every minute I spent waiting in the Brno train station. My friend Aurelie has only ventured out of that station once in Brno, to the KFC across the street. I got the grand tour from my lovely Brazilian friend Marina.

We did not see to many sights in Vienna, but it was a lot of fun. I learned how to make friends with body language from like 5 different countries, along with numerous words that will not make you any friends :D I still love it when people see someone from their own country and start speaking together in their native language. It is always so cool. I wish I had one that nobody would understand, but oh well. I like being able to talk to everyone. And now, I am fluent(coughcough) in Japanese and Portuguese, so I am on my way.

Nothing too exciting happening at home these days. I slept 12 hours last night, and man did it feel good! I had a skype lesson yesterday with my violin and viola teacher from the US. It was so nice to see her, and to have a lesson! School is still chugging along, and sometimes I understand more than others. I have gotten a bit lax lately about workign on my Czech. I want to have the best Czech when we finish this year, well besides Tari from Italy whose mom is Czech, so already is fluent. So, I have better get working!

Unfortunately, my camera was dead on the Vienna trip, but you can look at facebook and probably see most of the pictures.

Lots of love to all of you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

totally overdue.

Sorry about how long it took me to update! I have been pretty darn busy the last couple of weeks, and they have been some of the best weeks of my life. Barcelona is the San Francisco of the world, and I was ready to wave my amazign family who I love very much goodbye and stay there! The metro, Gaudi, the Picasso Museum, The sunshine, the ocean, the food, the hustle and bustle. It was a dream. We also stayed in the nicest hotel room of my life. If any of you visit Barcelona, czech out :D Just Style Apartments. Sounds corny, but it was gorgeous and they had a full kitchen and did your dishes. Yeah. I am in love. They didn't provide breakfast, so no way they can touch the Hyatt Regency in Delhi on that one. But the room was spectacular.

We got home and I had a day, then my lovely friend Joyce, originally from Hong Kong, came to stay with me for a couple of days. We celebrated Halloween, carving an intense pumpkin and eating candy corn. Yesterday, I finally got the box of Halloween goodies Nani, my grandmother, sent, but unfortunately, Halloween had already passed. Oh well! But one of my classmates said next week we are going to "celebrate" halloween in english class. I guess I will have to share that last bag of candy corn....

Saturday, we were in Praha. My plan was to finally go to Prague Castle, since I have wanted to since I got here, and it was my fourth visit. We went shopping instead. :D I got a cute shirt from H and M and some tights, and I ended up being the only who got anything! We saw "the first Czech hit musical", Děti Ráje. All I got out of it was Showboat, minus Old Man River and gorgeous sets, plus smoking and a diskoteka. Oh, and Czech. haha. It was so hot in the theater, but I was glad that I went.

Sunday, I spent the day with some AFS friends. They had slept over at Aurelie's, but we got back to late at night for that. We went to the pool, but my friend Sven's swim trunks were too long. Apparently, at this pool, you have to wear a speedo .They offered him some he could borrow, but funnily, he decided to go out for coffee instead. Silly Sven!! haha, but it was a lot of fun anyways.

I have started running again, partially because I really do like it, and partially because I cannot find Czech jeans I like, so mine have to fit for a while yet! All these chocolate bars take their toll! But, I am just living to what AFS stands for. Another Fat Student. :D

I feel like my czech would be improving a lot quicker if Czech songs were the ones stuck in my head. On the radio, they play mostly American pop hits. And I do not own any Czech music, besides a bit of Dvořák, so I am really not listening to it much. hmmm. I guess I have a project!

Life here isn't perfect, but it is pretty darn close. Lots of love to all of you, and pictures to come, once I pick a few out of the 600 I took,