Monday, 8-5-13 Coffee in Prague

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageMonday morning and it is a beautiful day. We had a fierce thunderstorm with high winds and major rain one hour into the opening of the festival last night which forced the evacuation of the fair grounds and canceling of all the events last night. Spirits were low with wet and hungry bodies but after hot showers and a great meal once we returned to the hostel, they all bounced back. Today is gorgeous with sun, cooler temperatures and blue sky. The festival was cancelled until 5:00pm to allow for cleanup to take place so we have had an unexpected free day to tour again. Erin is at the festival headquarters helping to reschedule events as she is on the US Planning Committee. I have the students back exploring the city. We started at Starbucks and they all feel like a million bucks now with coffee and croissants to start their day. We had toured this area yesterday so they want to shop and reexplore everything.

There is no question we have had a few unexpected bumps along the way. Erin and one of the students missed our connecting flight in London when they were held up in security. I took the main group through to Prague and we met them later at the hostel on Saturday morning. When we landed, three suitcases were missing but they eventually made their way to us that evening. Saturday hit 100 degrees for a record high and yesterday was quite hot as well. We are expecting heat until Friday when it will be 70. The hostel is actually a college dorm, very simple with shared bathroom facilities. The language has been challenging as there are no words that we can guess at. French or Spanish would be easier, but this language is entirely different so we have been unable to communicate at all unless they speak English. We are starting to figure out the underground and tram system. One of our biggest difficulties has been finding WiFi for internet connections as there is nothing at the hostel and it has been hard to find in other locations. At this morning’s group “how are we all doing” discussion, I talked about the fact that when you travel, you have to expect the unexpected and find ways to adjust without it affecting the entire experience. Overall, they are starting to appreciate what they take for granted in the US, how good we have it compared to other countries. I think they will come back with a much broader perspective and appreciation for all that we enjoy on a daily basis.

I have given them until 4:00pm to explore and have fun in the historic section of Prague. We will then head for the festival for the restart of all the events. We are meeting in the center of the Charles Bridge which is BEAUTIFUL, looking over the old town and Prague Castle which we will explore on Wednesday.

So bottom line, everyone is adjusting to a six hour time difference, being tired, finding their way around a strange city, and having limited communication with home but they are learning, growing and having fun. What an adventure that they will look back on years from now and be glad they experienced it!

For Erin and I, we are enjoying these extraordinary young adults. We always enjoy our students and we both feel privileged to be able to create these experiences for them. Well, it is time for me to now go explore a bit myself. I apologize for the not being more regular with this blog but connections have been our issue. So don’t expect any regular schedule of postings and I’ll try to get something out to you when I have the opportunity.

Thanks for your messages and keep them coming!


About Harry Rock

Director of Office of YMCA Relations and the YMCA Hall of Fame at Springfield College

5 thoughts on “Monday, 8-5-13 Coffee in Prague

  1. Monique Moses says:

    Hi Liane & all the SC group. Glad to hear things are looking up in Prague. The photos are awesome (with the exception of Liane & Nic having a shot, not funny…haha) can’t wait to hear all about the trip. Perhaps you will meet some relatives, LISKOVEC is the family name! Thanks to Harry for the updates, it makes it a bit easier when I can’t talk to my baby when I want. Have fun creating lifetime memories, stay safe and keep sending pictures. Love you Li, Mom

  2. Donna Lewis says:

    Sounds like quite an adventure! Hopefully your weather be perfect for the rest of the trip.

    FYI. A well traveled co-worker suggested looking for the public library for Wi-Fi access.

  3. Tara Furkey says:

    I am glad I am not the only one missing my baby right now! Shelby enjoy yourself! Thanks to Harry and Erin for taking care of all of our kids! Grandma says hi Shelby! And we both had a good cry reading the blog! Love, mom

  4. Monique Moses says:

    Hope you had a great day today at the festival. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Anymore crazy/funny shots from you and Nicole? Keep em coming… Love You!

  5. rose marie foley says:

    What a challenge you all had on your first day, but i am sure a trip to starbucks healed all especially for my granddaughter nicole. What an adventure. enjoy the rain, sun,and what ever comes your way because this is a special time. We love you Nicole.

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