Thursday, September 6, 2007

seven weeks later...

i know this is long overdue. in fact, seven weeks overdue, but i am finally getting my blog set up and giving everyone a chance to read about my life in prague... and keep me filled in on what they are up to at home. because i miss you all!

we've just recently moved into our own place in a nice area, close to everything we need like the metro, food, the post office and of course, the Athletes in Action staff and stinters here. we're a two minute walk from Erin and Heather, two of our new AIA friends and everyone else is a short tram ride away.

so i guess to go back in time, i'll start from the beginning and give a "brief" synopsis. at least, i'll try and make it brief!...

our first week in the czech republic was spent in Strakonice, a small city an hour outside Prague. it was kind of scary to walk into the dressing room for the first time, set down our stuff and look around at our teammates, none of which we knew. then coach Karel started out in a 20 minute pre-training camp talk in Czech, none of which we understood. obviously! it was a tough week. we trained on the ice two times a day and off ice once a day. the Czechs sure know how to bag skate their players. i've never before been skated quite like we were that week. it was easy to adjust to the new time as we were so tired after the days that sleep was a welcome friend come bedtime. we learned a bit of czech that first week... fork, knife, spoon, etc... thank you and please, the proper basics. it was fun and we started to get to know our teammates a little. as the week went on we realized that the slovak girl sitting beside us in the dressing room understands English completely. haha. probably a good thing to know. a few others surfaced as knowing a bit of English, but no one is fluent enough to understand us when we speak normal English. i experienced first hand czech style coaching. when frustrated with one of the girls, Karel shot a puck at her, then threw his stick at her, next both his gloves were fired at her head! none of them hit her -not sure they were really supposed to, be we all got the message!

btw - our team name is HC Slavia Praha... you may have heard of it before as we are affiliated with the hockey and football (soccer) clubs here as well.

that week moved into week 2, where the AIA Canada team arrived for the International Training camp in Kralupy, Czech Republic. we were joined by the czech team, a team from Bratislava and both the English senior and junior teams. our team was small, which was frustrating at times. we had 5 skaters and two goalies, so were joined by czech girls for each game. but God knew what he was doing and we had great opportunities to get to know girls from all the teams and build new relationships. it was also a great group from Canada and just what I needed after a tough week in Strakonice. the fellowship was awesome.

the past four and a half weeks have consisted of practice once a day, lazing around watching movies, exploring the city, going for supper with friends and hanging out with teammates. it's been a nice, quiet end to the summer.

i'll leave it at that for now and go into more detail on my posts as new things come up. i don't want to lose readership due to being incredibly long winded, which i could easily be if i don't stop now.

hope everyone is well at home. know that i think of you all and miss you incredibly! i wish you could really see what life is like here. i'm well and happy and enjoying the adventure.

chelsa XOXO