Monday, June 4, 2012

Back in Prague

So I find words I never thought to speakIn streets I never thought I would revisitWhen I left my body on a distant shore.

In "Little Gidding," Eliot envisions a poet he considered to be his master (usually identified as W.B. Yeats) speaking to him in a Purgatorial vision from beyond the grave. I find this line rather appropriate now, though I am admittedly taking these words out of context. 

I am back in Prague, in "streets I never thought I would revisit," less than a year after I left. 

Sorry I didn't let you know sooner! I meant to write a blog post the last week in May, but with all the packing, time slipped away, and I was boarding a plane and listening to automated reminder to turn off all electronic devices. 

So, here's what happened: Last year, I somehow did not use all the money that I raised for support; more was paid into my checking account by my sending organization than I actually used. In an effort to use the money (originally given for missions) responsibly, I set it aside and planned to take a short-term trip over the summer. I looked into going to China, India and Brazil, but it worked best for me to return to Prague and volunteer here. 

I will be here for five weeks (It's going to go by so fast. Five weeks is a blink of an eye compared to the six months that I stayed last time.) During that time, I will volunteer at the school where I worked last time (various organizational and clean-up projects, I believe). Also, I will spend time teaching conversational English at a church plant about an hour from Prague. In early July, I will spend about ten days working at an English camp with the same church plant. 

Prayer requests:
  • Safe travels. I will be bouncing around the Czech Republic quite a bit, as you can tell, so please pray that I get from Point A to Point B (and sometimes Point C and Point D) without a hitch. 
  • English lessons. In the years since I've started teaching, I've come to rely heavily on knowledge of my students to tell me whether what I'm teaching is profitable, or over or under their heads. In teaching conversational English, I know the ages and approximate ability levels of my students. Please pray that what I teach will be relevant to their level, not exceedingly dull or exceedingly difficult (Knowing me, I'm more likely to accidentally teach something exceedingly difficult.)
So far, the weirdest feeling has been how familiar the city feels. My first memories of new cities (Beijing, Berlin, and Prague the first time) always include a distinctly alien element: the script-like lettering of Chinese and the unusual signs, or the brilliantly-neon flashing ads in Berlin. Entering Prague this time, I recognized words, store names and places that I had been. 

About the blog: I plan to post more while I am here; however, with all the traveling, I'm not sure how often that will actually be. So bear with me: I promise to gather more stories and pass them along to you. 

Thank you for your prayers.

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