Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy New Year

Hesky Novy Rok! Happy New Year!

Well I am finally back. We received our internet connection just a couple of weeks ago while we were away for the holiday break. For those of you that have been checking in I am sorry for the lack of entries lately. Now that we are online I hope to be able to keep up more regularly.

We left of with our trip to Vienna. We are actually preparing to go again here very shortly. We have to submit some visa information to the consulate there.

Since then we have had a pretty mellow time. I think most of it has been spent with day-to-day experiences. Both my wife and I have been learning a lot about the culture and the nuances that accompany any move to a different area of the world or even to a different part of the country. I have to say that I think that we are getting a very unique and special look at Czech culture, having spent the last few weeks in Prague.

As I have mentioned, we live in a more rural area. There are less English speakers here and it seems, from their reaction to us, that they do not see foreigners often either. This being the case we have the chance to witness a more candid look the people we are around. For me this is a very valuable experience and I am very happy that we chose to come to this area opposed to remaining in Prague.

That being said I do not want to take anything away from Prague. It is a very wonderful city and I take every chance I have to go back and see new things. It is said to be the jewel of Europe and I totally understand why.

So enough of my rambling. What have we been up to?

As I was saying we are spending most of our time staying busy with daily activities. I spend my days a school in the cutting workshop and working on a new body of sculptures. (see photo) One day a week my wife is traveling about ½ an hour to Ceska Lipa for a ceramics workshop where she is taking advantage of an opportunity to make some new small sculpture as well. Then once a week I am working at a small glass factory in Novy Bor called Ajeto. They make mostly reproduction gothic style, forest glass there so the scale which I am working is small and more utilitarian. It is nice though, because I have the chance to learn some new styles of blowing glass such as Czech style mold blowing.

We went to Germany in November to see Meisen Porcelain factory and then later that day went to Dresden. This trip to Meisen was interesting but they really “glazed” over the information about their products and processes. I can’t say much about Dresden because my son ended up being a little sick and decided to take a nap during the stay there.

I guess the last thing of significance was our stay in Prague for the holiday break. My wife’s parents came and we had a very special Christmas in Prague. Then we spent New Years with the other Fulbrighters in Prague. The only drawback was I ended up being sick for about two weeks.