Just 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.
Did we sleep well? Depends on how you look at it. The beds were super comfortable, the rooms were nicely dark, everything smelled clean and fresh but…..the smoke alarm decided to run low on battery and beeped almost the whole night! Needless to say we were a couple of Zombies in the morning. Thank God there was Starbucks right around the corner! Nikola ordered her wimpy grande White Chocolate Mocha and I ordered my heart-attackish Quad tall late (4 espressos plus one inch of milk).
We started our seminar in quite a nice hotel conference room, with about 30 people in attendance. Among them was again Mr. Gandalovic, Mr. Sedlacek, Mr. Fidrmuc and other speakers. First we introduced ourselves and our schools. How many Czech schools are currently in the US? Well, let me name some: a school in San Francisco, Dallas, West and North Virginia, Orange County, San Diego (us), Washington DC, and others. Some schools were already well established (like the one in San Francisco which has close to 100 students!!), some were just starting up and gathering information…
All of the politicians in attendance were very nice and welcoming, stretching the fact that our little students are a new generation of Czechs living abroad. One of them remarked how pivotal this whole Czech school movement is, connecting the gap between the old “Sokol” Czech culture (consisting mostly of older folks who do not speak the language anymore) and the current culture.
The discussion consisted mostly of them asking us how could they be helpful to us. What do we need? What books? Supplies? Training? Extra teachers?? Of course, we said ‘yes’ to everything.
Overall, we learned a lot about how much more can we do for our school, how much more can the Czech government do for us, but most of all, we learned that there is a bunch of excited human beings just like us who want to promote the Czech language and Czech culture no matter what it takes. Once again, small Bohemian steps to world domination!If you liked this post buy me a coffee! (Suggested:$3 a latte $8 for a pound) Thanks!