Church in a Bar and Brunch

Last Sunday I attended a church that I think will become my new church home. It’s called Do.Slova, and is located in Prague 1. The problem is I don’t know if I can find it again. Anyway, it meets in this old bar which has a lot of character. I just felt at home there, and not just because of few of my coworkers attend there so I actually knew some people. It’s a bilingual church, so everything is in English and in Czech, which I think is quite beautiful. They also do communion, which is really important to me. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming.

Afterward, Shelby, Jen, and I went to a place called Coffee & Waffles for brunch. We had passed it on the way to church, and we just really wanted some waffles at that point. This place offers full breakfast all day as well as a variety of waffles with all sorts of toppings, from sweet to savory. Jen’s had peanut butter sauce and Nutella, if I remember correctly. Shelby and I went for scrambled eggs and the Czech version of bacon with our waffles. This place was a sweet little find.

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Festival & Fried Dough

Jen, Shelby, and I ventured out last Saturday to find a cultural festival taking place in another neighborhood of Prague. There were a number of food stalls as well as vendors with things to buy. A couple different stages had entertainment. We walked through everything once to get a feeling for the offerings. There was American BBQ, Chinese food, Mexican, and all sorts of South American representation, like Peru and Venezuela. Guys, it smelled really good. We got Mexican food, went to the Irish pub tent for Irish beer and cider, and watched a Bulgarian children’s choir as well as a good sized Salsa dance class.

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We then wandered over to Wenceslas square. Why did we bother with a touristy, crowded area? Because the festival was lacking only in fried dough treats, we wanted something like that, and Wenceslas square has it.

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We found fried dough, everyone. It’s actually a Slovakian treat called a trdelnik chimney, and it was doughy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and covered with cinnamon-sugar. Also? You could get the cones filled with goodness like Nutella and ice cream, which is what we did. Linda, my cousin, this picture is for you! Thanks for bringing my attention to this treat.

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Just So

We stayed close to home the other day and went to a nearby coffee shop. The cute little place is called “Jen Tak”, which means “just so”. Everything was just so in here, from the sweet barista to the perfect coffee to the display case of tempting treats. We were on a mission to eat medovnik, a delicious honey cake. Jen Tak did not disappoint, and I’ll definitely be back. It was nice to find a charming little coffee shop near the apartment.

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Look at our beautiful cappuccinos! Jen’s had hearts and mine was a flower. The cappuccinos were served in the most delicate china cups and the coffee was a perfect compliment to the sweet cake.

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Finally, we had medovnik! For those who love honey, this treat is a must. The cake had rich honey flavor which was balanced by layers of cream. This is a cake I will indulge in again.

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Wandering…

Shelby, Jen, and I had to run an errand the other day, so we decided to make an afternoon of it. Once we were finished with work stuff, we ran our errand. Afterward, we just sort of wandered, taking in some of the beautiful architecture of Prague. Here we are, me, Jen, and Shelby, just hanging out on the Charles Bridge:

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We wandered into a beautiful, quiet church for a few minutes of peacefulness:

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There is amazing architecture everywhere you look:

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Below are a few images from the Charles Bridge:

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Below is the view from the Charles Bridge. Guys, I live here.

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Adventures with Rachel, Pt. 1

I’ve titled this post as such because I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll have more adventures with my friend, Rachel, to share with you in the future. Rachel and I met at Taylor University when we were are major undergrads. We both just happen to be teaching in Prague at the same time, so we’ve rekindled our old friendship. I had almost forgotten how much fun I have with Rachel. Here we are!

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Anyway, last Sunday, she took me to a restaurant up by the Strahov Monastery, which houses one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Below is a picture of the monastery, but click the link highlighted above to go to the website and do a virtual tour. It’s a beautiful place.

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Below is the restaurant/beer garden we ate at, and it was great. It’s called Velka Klasterni. The food was delicious, the beer was perfect, and we had great conversation.

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And you cannot beat the view of the city from up here:

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To the left of the image is Prague Castle, which Rachel and I walked to and wandered around. Below is a close up of part of the castle compound. We did a lot of wandering and exploring. We ended our day with the amazing gelato at Creme de la Creme (future post – stay tuned) as we sat overlooking the river.

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Hanspaulka

The school year has begun here in Prague, and those of us in UpWord English are working tirelessly to plan for our students. Let me tell you: I work with a great group of people. They’re considerate, communicative, and collaborative. (How about THAT alliteration!?) They’re passionate about what they do. If you’re a praying person, please be in prayer for the team below:

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I know some of you want to know who is who, so here we go, starting with the back row on the left side: Shelby, Emma, Annemarie, Me, Misha, Ela. Next row: Jane, Cassidy, Trisha, Jen, and Lenka. In front, we have Elaine, Andrea, and Jana. Did I mention that I already love these people?!

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Here is a glimpse of Hanspaulka, the school at which I’m teaching. Yes, those are apple trees. We ate fresh apples off the trees like crazy during our training week. They were juicy, crisp, and had just the right balance of sweetness and tartness.

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You’ll be hearing a lot from Hanspaulka and my teammates over the next two years…

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Birthday in Bohemia

So, my birthday was this past weekend. So was Jen’s. We had a joined birthday celebration with our other housemates, and it was a perfect evening. First of all, we get off the metro and I have immediate balcony envy. Can you believe this place?!

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We went to dinner at a place called The Three Pigs. It’s not in a touristy area, and it had really good food. I had a dish that consisted of tiny potato dumplings (smaller than gnocchi) in a sheep’s cheese sauce with crispy bacon. I also had a mixed beer, the Czech equivalent of a black and tan. Beer is different here – it’s not so carbonated and it’s very smooth. The Three Pigs had a nice atmosphere and we enjoyed a good meal together.

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Next, we went to the Tower Park Prague. It was built during the communist era and looks like something out of Star Wars. It has a bar/cafe, restaurant, and hotel in its upper levels. We went up to the bar for after dinner drinks and to see the lights come on in the city.

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Gingerbread Manhattan – a delightful cocktail that came with pieces of gingerbread!

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The ladies I’m doing life with: Rachel, me, Shelby, Andrea, and Jen. Selfies are not our strong suit.

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Getting Acquainted

I’m slowly getting acquainted with my new life in Prague. All of my luggage is finally here, and my banking issue is resolved, so at least I can breathe now. I continue to be grateful for generous housemates and an understanding, kind roommate. They’ve taken very good care of me while I’ve gone through this minor ordeal and have truly kept up my spirits.

Orientation for work began bright and early Monday morning. My initial impressions are very positive. I really like the team I work with as well as the schedule I’ve received. I’ve been assigned to second and third grade, which I’m very happy about, as I enjoy that age group and have worked with those grades often in the past. Teachers have more breaks and time for planning built into the days here, so that will be a nice change from what I’m used to. On Fridays, I am the English teacher for art classes, so I’m excited to be using both my art and teaching degrees! I’m curious to learn more about the Czech school system, as it initially seems more flexible and relaxed. Students get many more breaks than they do in the states, and even young children get to participate in electives. It will be interesting to compare the US and Czech schools once I get into a routine.

I know you’re all probably wanting to see some pictures. I’ll get to that in the next few days, hopefully. I’m waiting on a new SIM card for my phone, then I’ll be posting more visually appealing entries. Thanks for following along. If any of you have any questions or would like me to write about something specific, just let me know. I miss you all! Be blessed!

Arrival

I have arrived in Prague, dear ones! It was an eventful trip. I was forced to check my carry-on bag in Indianapolis after the overhead bins were too full for everyone’s things. My flight to Dublin from Chicago was delayed by an hour and a half, so when I arrived in Dublin, I had 20 minutes to get from the end of one terminal to the end of another. I breathlessly made my flight to Prague……but my luggage did not. My ATM card isn’t working despite my clearing all of my new life information with my bank. I have no money to give to my landlord for my apartment deposit. Therefore, I spent my first night in Prague with no clothes, toothbrush, deodorant, prescriptions, or any possessions whatsoever, and I have no money. Needless to say, I’m quite stressed and feeling a lot of frustration.

My landlord was gracious enough to give me five days to get her my deposit, so at least I had a place to sleep last night. My apartment is very cute and I love my bedroom. My roommate and and the other new teachers I live with have been so generous and kind in helping me with food and the metro, but I’m really concerned about making my deposit. If you are the praying kind, please pray that my problems will be resolved and my heart will be lifted, because right now I’m very disheartened and frustrated. Stay tuned for more drama from the Czech Republic…

A New Adventure

It has long been a dream of mine to teach English in Eastern Europe. I finally have that opportunity, and have taken a job teaching in Prague for the next two years. I will be working through an organization that sends native English speakers into the Czech schools to teach English to the children there. This blog used to be all about my art, photography, forays into the kitchen, and adventures around the U.S. and my hometown. I’m revamping it a little bit to share my new adventures in this next phase of my life. I’m keeping all my old content published, but my new posts will be all about my life, challenges, and experiences in Prague. I hope you will join me!

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