Up until the moment I got on the plane I didn't believe this whole study abroad trip would become a reality. I constantly found myself waiting for something to happen that would prevent me from going. I had a lot of doubts but I reminded myself of this: God would not allow me to go abroad if it wasn't what He had planned for me.
Living overseas, trying new foods, learning a new language, getting an authentic experience of the culture. That was the life ahead of me for the next four months and I was really excited about all of it. But knowing that I was about to do all these things without my Chrisitan community terrified me.
Doing life with my studio friends has been an adjustment. We've all grown closer in our friendships. But we have a lot more freedom here. It's been a daily commitment for me to use my time glorifying God above all else. You can be praying for me to have spiritual conversations with the free time we have! For now, I've been watching the Summit live stream on Sundays but I'm hoping to get connected with a local church (the pastor is from Charlotte!!). And I've recently received contact info for some girls that are coming to Prague for mission work in a couple of weeks!
My time here so far has been consumed by learning the city and the language. My first Saturday in Prague I participated in a scavenger hunt that led my friends and I running in the rain- getting familiar with the landmarks and history of the city. That next week we dived into an intensive language class- four hours of nothing but Czech every day. We all came in barely knowing how to say hello and finished the course being able to successfully order and pay a bill in a restaurant.
This past week, I finished up my first week of actual class! All of my professors are native Czechs. In my three years at State, I've had the same rotation of professors since freshman year. Adapting to new teaching styles has been both refreshing and slightly challenging. At the moment, my classes consist of getting involved in a personal care packaging competition, discovering some interesting facts about galaxies and nebulas, and being introduced to countless European designers that I didn't even know existed.
-Czech food is actually pretty good. I'm basically living off of goulash and bread dumplings. The first week here I had to brave it out and try random dishes without any Benadryl on hand (it doesn't exist in this country and I forgot to bring some, sorry mom).
-They weren't kidding when they said this city is purely castles and cobblestone. I've definitely stood on the edge of some castles to snap a pic. I can't help it!
-After expereincing both the New York Subway and the London Underground I can say Czech transportation is pretty efficient. Three metro lines and four trams can get me anywhere I want to go in the city.
-It's warmer in the morning than it is during the day. But walking in the cold is made better by the constant dog sightings! Dogs walk around without leashes here and they can hang out in reastaurants.
-The Czech language is no joke. Some words have at least four consonants right next to each other. The Czech word for ice cream is zmrzlina. And that's a simple word to pronounce.
-Prague is the definiton of a sustainable city. The lights will turn off halfway during your shower. Be prepared to pay a dollar for ketchup. Water is not free.
-There are tons of cathedrals here and the Czech Reubplic has a lot of rich religious history. Yet very few people are actually religious.
-I've seen a kindness in the people here that I haven't seen anywhere else. I was literally brought to tears the other day when a young boy gave up his seat on the tram to an elderly man.