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sir nicholas wintonA sad news: Sir Nicholas Winton passed away just hours ago.

The good news is that he reached a triple diamond age of 106 years and even a better news is that his life served as a protective shield to many Czech and Slovak Jewish Children who would have otherwise died in the concentration camps.

Winton’s favorite hobby was helping others; like someone likes gardening or bridge, Nicolas loved to be the guardian angel to the oppressed. What a great life motto! I wonder if, that is a secret to a long, happy life!

CZ: Dnes zemrela obrovska osobnost lidskych dejin – Sir Nicholas Winton. Tento skromny, 106-ti lety dedecek v dobe Druhe svetove valky totiz zachranil zivoty nekolika stovek ceskych/slovenskych zidovskych deti. Jeho zivotni heslo bylo:” Kdyz uz na tom svete jednou jsme, tak at jsme take necim uzitecni”. Mozna, ze tomu prisel Sir Nicholas na kloub – byti andelem straznym jednoduse prodluzuje zivot o nekolik desitek let!

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Czech consul Mr. SedlacekJust last weekend I had a privilege to attend a Conference of Czech Schools in North America. I did not go by myself but went with my dear friend Nikola who is also the president of our Czech School (I guess I would be the vice-president or the president’s right hand).

 

This president of mine is also a size zero, which means that her ‘lunch box’ on the drive to Los Angeles consisted of a bar of chocolate, a bag of candy and butter waffles. How can one resist, especially when they are Czech products???

 

After we got to Los Angeles and freshened up in our rooms it was time to have an official dinner at the house of the Czech consul, Mr. Sedlacek. The atmosphere was relaxed, we got to meet other presidents of Czech schools (basically patriotic moms – volunteers just like us). Who else was in attendance? Well, of course, the Czech ambassador, Mr Gandalovic, as well as Jaroslav Fidrmuc, the deputy of the ministry of Education. They all had a short speech and then it was time to eat  some Goulash; the best goulash on Earth, might I say. The smell of it changed all of us, powdered Czech ladies, into uncontrollable animals who could not get enough of this delicious meal! We went (well, rolled) home kind of early because we knew he had a busy day ahead of us.

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wliberlandMAPCzech inventiveness never ceases to fail. This time we are making a new European country. True, it is only a couple of kilometers squared big but who cares? 250,000 have already requested citizenship:).

Read about it here.

CZ: Uz vite o Liberland? Chystate se take pozadat o obcanstvi??

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Got (Czech) talent? / Mate (cesky) talent?

Talent-Show-imageHappy Easter! Finally I get some time off from studying and get to write a post. And do I have a story for you!

My older daughter Hahna, who is in a second grade, decided to audition for the first time for a talent show and sing her favorite Czech song. If you knew Hahna, you would know that she is quite shy, so going through such thing is a big accomplishment for her. What made the process a bit easier and more comfortable was that her dad was accompanying her on the guitar. Not only that but he would practice with her numerous time before the auditions. At first she would act goofy with him but the repetitions calmed her down and she could get centered.

Now, what happened at the actual auditions I know only from my husband because my daughter doesn’t really say much when I ask her how something went (usually the word ‘good’ summarizes it all for her;).

At first, I was really surprised that supposedly almost the whole school was auditioning. Yet, if you think about it, it makes sense. Elementary school kids are still very innocent and clueless when it comes to being self-conscious. They just think, “Hey, I want to be on that stage!”. To give me an idea, Keith described me a couple of performances, like the countless number of girls singing Elsa’s  “Let it go” along with the original song playing from the CD player, or some girl was just doing summersaults back and forth for 2 minutes…… or some 4th grader singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. How cute/funny/weird is that??! It must have been fun to watch. [click to continue…]

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Pizza or french fries? / Pizza nebo hranolky?

We went recently skiing with the kids for the first time and it was a great experience. What a different situation from when I was little and learned how to ski!

First of all, thank God for skiing schools! Both kids were flying down the hill (well, ok, plowing) at the end of the day with happy smiles on their faces. If I remember well, it took me a couple of years just to stand up on skis and not fall every 5 seconds. Why did it take me so long?

– children nowadays are being taught without using poles. I wasn’t. From the very beginnings my dad made us always to push one pole in the snow and then make a turn. Those poles and skis were attached by an umbilical cord!

– instructors use this short rope to connect the tips of the skis so they don’t spread out of control. That way only the back of the skis opens up, which the instructors call the ‘pizza’ position (parallel skis are called the ‘french fries’ position).

–  teachers are so fun! My daughters’ teacher was dressed up as Batman and as a good Batman, he was coming to the rescue whenever one of the students lost control of the speed or got stuck somewhere.

– Oh, and what did they use for a lift? A cute little rubber belt that pulled the kids up just by them standing there. They did not use those evil ‘pomas’ (a plate attached to a metal bar that you put under your butt) like I did, which required a great concentration and an advanced skiing level. And if you did not have that, you just kept falling: either at the beginning of the lift – in front of everyone, or somewhere in the middle, which was usually in the deep part of some foggy woods. What did you do next? If you were a little grommet, you started wailing uncontrollably and waited for your parents (hopefully) to find you. If you were older, you just had to take your skis and set out for a long, streneous journey accross the snowed in woods in hopes to find some civilization again. [click to continue…]

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I got 2 important new apps for your phone:

Screen shot 2015-02-14 at 4.07.24 PM1. You can now listen to Czech/Slovak music on Spotify!!! I was using Pandora but not anymore!

 

 

Screen shot 2015-02-14 at 4.08.10 PM2. There is a free app called ‘iVysilani” with a bunch of Czech movies/documentaries/sport events…..

 

Czech it out!!!!

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leadI am not sure if you are aware of the cruel fact that the  historic Lennon Wall in Prague is simply GONE. In order for you to understand why I capitalized those words, let me tell you a little bit of background info.

After John Lennon was assasianted in 1980, an unnamed artist painted a beatiful portrait of Lennon along with some of the Beattles lyrics. Of course, this was during a deep Communism, so Western images were strictly forbidden. The painting got quickly covered by some posters by the Czech police like nothing ever happened. Well, for some reason, John Lennon did never go away and became a symbol of freedom. Every time the Communist covered him someone would come back in the middle of the deep night and painted yet another image of John. And it would be like this until 1989 when the Velvet Revolution broke through the totalitarian regime. Thereafter the John Lennon Wall became not only the symbol of freedom but a new favorite tourist spot. Every time you read one of those ‘Top 10 places to visit in Prague’, the Wall was bound to be one of them. [click to continue…]

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Happy New Year 2015! / Stastny Novy Rok 2015!

imageOn Silvestr (the last day of the year) the Czechs usually bake Vanocka and put a coin in the dough to see who will get it in his slice and therefore will be rich the next year. Since any of my family members actually don’t like Vanocka (!!!) what do you think is the probability that I will end up with the penny? And a few extra pounds??

Wishing you a very happy and  peaceful  New Year 2015 :)

Preji vam vsem stastny Novy Rok 2015 a at najdete ve Vasi vanocce spoustu penizku:).

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Hi Guys!

Screen shot 2014-12-21 at 7.48.05 PMI have a couple of good news. One is that our comments are finally working again! Hurray!

The second good news is that I did a presentation at my daughter’s second grade class on the topic of Czech Christmas and it went very well. Hopefully I taught the children early enough in their formative years that my country of origin is NOT Czechoslovakia but the Czech Republic. I also broadened their fish knowledge and introduced them to the mighty carp and that it makes a good pet when left in the tub for a prolonged period of time.

And of course, I talked about the Saint Nicholas and his two buddies, the devil and the angel. When I told the children about the naughty children getting a piece of coal and/or potatoes as a present, one boy got really confused. After the presentation was over he came up to me and said: “Maybe the potato was meant as a sign of vitality and health since you can put it in the ground and a new potato grows from it and then you eat it.” So I had to shatter his hopes and tell him that a raw potato is truly a sign of a bad kid. [click to continue…]

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prague-xmasThe House Trip blog published this year’s Christmas trees from all over the world and I have to say, ours (the Czech tree) looks like one of the best ones! What do you think? Vote for your favorite tree!

 

CZ: Blog zvany The House Trip zverejnil krasne obrazky vanocnich stromecku z celeho sveta. Nas vypada asi nejlepe, co myslite?? 😉

 

 

Which Christmas tree do you like the best?

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