Sunday, January 28, 2007

Foil Dinners and Book Reviews

I need to finish a little presentation I’ve been working on, but I have writer’s block at the moment so I figure I’ll warm myself up with a little blogging.

The past week has been very crazy and it looks like I now have a little bit of a breather before I’m right back at it again. Mattias came to visit us this week and what a week it was. Lots of party-time and late nights, which in-turn has given me a larger than usual lust for naps. We did a number of fun activities, such as making foil-dinners and hotdogs out in the forest by a well made fire, lots of music jams, and a late night party day in Berlin last Friday night to top it all off. All in all, I’d coin it a very successful visit.

This Thursday I’m off to Karlsruhe (or rather Thomashof) to head to the Midterm conference. I’m very excited to see all of the trainees and committee members. Looks like it’ll be a full 5 days of Menno goodness. The little presentation that I’m supposed to be working on is for the first night of the conference. It’s okay though, I’ve practically finished it, so a little procrastination to think of a good ending is most likely a good idea right?

Other than that it’s just been pretty low-key. Today, I did my usual old people driving and then Waldi, Keith and I watched a movie with Rowan Atkansin in it, and it was quite good. Very British, if I do say so myself. Then I took to reading for a while and taking a well deserved nap.

I’ve done a lot of reading lately, and so far I’ve been very pleased with the books. Tim bought me ‘Everything is Illuminated’ for my birthday and I loved it. Way different than the movie of course, but I think the movie was great in its own way as well. I read it while we went to Auschwitz; I laughed, I cried, I read in silence. I’d give it a grade A.

Then right after, Hannah sent me ‘The Life of Pi’. In a few words, I’d call it life changing. It was exactly what I needed. Reading that book gave me enough epistemological thoughts for me to chew on. I would say, it didn’t change my religious beliefs but rather how I look at religion in general. A much more peaceful approach that I find is much more in tune to my beliefs as a Mennonite. Plus, it’s amazingly well written and has lots of Canadian references, which I highly approve of.

Currently, I am reading ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’. I’m currently feeling in a really math and science mood, which is very odd considering these two subjects have more often than not been the Bain of my existence. Something that I’ve learned so far is that science can be very interesting if put into perspective and not written by scientist. I find that the most amazing minds of our time have usually been sub-par writers, as is the norm with most academics. It’s the same with university professors, they may be a genius in their perspective fields, but they suck at teaching and conveying what they know into practical terms. I guess that’s what a TA is for, right?

Anywho, time to get back to my little project and then I still have to make lesson plans for this week.
Ciao Darlings.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Trip Update

So I suppose that it’s time to tell the next part of the trip.

So last I left off we had finally arrived in the main square of Prague. Not bad. We walked around for a bit in search of an internet cafe, until we finally found a cheap one. We wanted to look up a cheap hostel that would be close by as we had these large heavy sacks. We finally decided to check out one on a flyer that we had been given earlier at the train station.

The name of the place was The Golden Sickle. Nice allusions to the good ol’ days eh? It was a little more expensive that we would have hoped, around 300 crowns, but it was nice enough and we didn’t really want to go looking for another place. We signed in and then were taken up to a dorm room where we met some nice Polish people and a couple of Aussis and Brits. We settled in pretty quickly and then went out to find some food.

All in all, it was a pretty relaxed night. We did some exploring and got some stuff to eat from the local grocery store. We were both feeling a little anxious to see how things would turn out, but I think they ended up turning out okay. I’m starting to forget what really happened; I wish I would have written this all down. We had a good time and then finally received some much needed sleep.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Adventure Calls

So time to do a little update I suppose. Well, it’s certainly been a long and very interesting period since I last wrote, almost a month! A lot has happened since then. Let’s all start back and pretend that it is the night before the trip. (Time warp noises).

So Tim and are finally packed and then we have a dinner with all of the people in the Gemeinde. We had a secret Santa and everything. We didn’t have gifts, but we ran back to the room and grabbed the freshly purchased gl├╝wine that had arrived early that night. It was a big hit! I ended up nabbing myself a pasta set, I was so happy.

The next day Tim and I set off to the post office to grab the money gram that my parents were sending us. The website said that it opened at 7am, however, it turns out that it does not open until 9am. Very un-German if you ask me. So that starting things off on a bad note, seeing as our train left at 9:03am. We managed to work things out to say the least.

The train ride to Prague was fairly uneventful. We went through Dresden, but that is really the only notable city on the German side. The Czech cities, I could not pronounce even if I wanted to. We got our passports czeched (haha, get it?!). I slay myself.

Anywho, we arrived at Prague at around 3pm and were immediately set upon by people looking for backpackers. We were so afraid of pickpockets that we ran from these people, but not before grabbing a flyer off of one man (who later turned out to be the owner of the hostel we stayed at and not, in fact, a pickpocket).

After an almost straight forward trip on the subway we arrived at the main square. It was beyond awesome; statues and the huge museum, and much more. We had finally arrived in Eastern Europe (or so we thought). We finally made it and the real trip began.