Shared Joy is Twice the Joy, Shared Pain is Half the Pain

Weekend Trip to Moravia

Once again, I went with my host family to Anna’s Mom’s village in Moravia. I have midterms this week, so I had to try to study, which was kind of a joke because, as I wrote about here, I haven’t had much focus this semester on classes. In reality, I barely even cracked open a book all day Saturday.

We left Friday evening, after Filip came home from Russia and went with Anna to vote. (Elections happened! Read about them here!) I did a bit of research for my research paper due Wednesday before I went to sleep on Friday, and then intended to finish Saturday afternoon. Instead, I took a three hour nap. Oops!

Anyway, we did what people normally do when they visit their grandma’s house – essentially nothing of consequence. We drove to Trebič to go shopping; we played soccer in the park. There is, however, one advantage of being in a little village where everyone knows everyone – everyone knows everyone. As we were walking past a yard, one of the girls said hi to Jachym. Turns out that was Anna’s niece. So we said hi, and Anna took Emma inside to use the toilet, but not before encouraging the girls to practice their English by asking me questions. Imagine a circle of eight girls, ages 7 to 12, shyly asking the oldest girls “Jak se řykle …” over and over again. The funniest part was that I understood most of the questions they wanted to ask me in Czech; if the older girls didn’t know a word in English, I would tell it to them. So the little girls asked the older girls in Czech how to say something in English. I understood the question in Czech, but waited for the older girls to tell the younger girls how to say it in English (sometimes I helped). Then I would wait for the younger girls to ask me in English, I would correct their pronunciation or grammar, they would say it again, and then I would answer in Czech. Certainly an unnecessarily long process, but fun for all involved, I think. The cutest part was when Anna came back outside, and the girls were full of questions for her that they clearly didn’t want to ask me, didn’t know how to say in English, or didn’t think I would know in Czech. They wanted to know if I was actually studying at Charles University, if I actually lived with Anna in Prague, how long I was here, etc, etc, etc.

Side note, at some point last week, Veronika called Anna and asked if we had discussed whether I would stay for the year – we hadn’t. But now we have, and Anna and Filip have discussed it, and I am. Its official, because Anna was telling the gaggle of girls that I would live with them for a year (previously, the explanation was that I was currently living with them and studying in Prague for the year. The distinction in language is subtle (especially in English), but the connotation is huge (especially in Czech)).

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