as you may know, in february i signed on as a teacher (with alex) to teach three weeks of childrens’ english summer camps. this means just under ten hours (7:15am to 4:30 or 5pm) of hanging out with kids per day. and good news: i have survived week one!
i’ve never taught groups of kids before, and it was a pretty amazing, fun, sometimes extremely tiring, and really rewarding experience. in this camp, the kids are surrounded by two native speaker teachers and one bilingual czech teacher in hopes they will pick up on the english phrases we tell them: stand up! sit down! line up! come on! let’s go! very few of them seemed to understand that we speak no czech and would frequently just babble on to us. it also made me feel a little useless sometimes, when they would ask something like “can i go to the bathroom?” in czech and i would be all, “what? where? i don’t know.” in order to survive with us, the kids learned some basic english fast, and i learned to recognize certain czech phrases eventually. it was a joy to be around all these great kids. and i know they’ve picked up on quite a bit of english, if what a few parents told me is any indication.
one particular day, thursday, we took a field trip to a castle ruins called the maiden’s stone, which is a half hour from budejovice by train, then a little hike to get there. i was planning to dress up as a princess and appear from one of the windows in the castle to surprise the kids. so for about a half hour, i was alone hiding in the ruins by myself, eating my lunch. which was a schnitzel. and there were some goats hanging around as well, for some reason. and then it hit me, here i am: eating schnitzel by myself, sitting in a castle ruin with goats, about to go put on a hat and cape and pretend to be a princess for 23 people! this is what i do now!
it was exactly a year ago today that i quit my job in seattle and prepared to move out the following morning. a year ago that i said goodbye to my friends, co-workers, and even cried in the street a little after finishing my last shift. it was a beautiful july day. so this weekend i’m celebrating the whole one year of “following my dreams” thing, as well as first week of camp in the books.
below: our favorite little lady.