Tonight I had dinner with a family from my church. Nothing too special about that. However the mom in this family had spent over 10 years in the Czech Republic and met and married her husband there. Having heard through a friend of my friend’s mom that I was going to the Czech Republic soon, she invited me over to her house the very first week I returned from South Africa. A few months later the dates finally aligned to set up the meeting.
It went great. They have four really cute kids and it was a great night of talking and learning. I can’t emphasize enough how much I enjoy learning about a place from people who are 1)from there and 2) lived there a long time. This couple met both criteria and were both very open and friendly in telling me a lot about the country I’ll be spending a year at. I learned a lot from history to the plethora of castles there but one thing was very encouraging. The husband said that his adjustment to New England had not been too hard because the people of New England have a similar temperament and attitude to most Czechs. As we talked more and more it became clear that many of the ways that Czechs think and act are ways that I do as well.
Culture shock happens of course and I’m sure there will be plenty of weird moments while I’m over there (Czech appears notoriously difficult to learn) but to think that maybe I’ll be able to connect with the people there just being who I am (at least a bit) is tremendously exciting. To have a family like this with such insight on the country to be only 30 minutes away from my house AND to attend my church is a blessing. Having over 3 months until I go it is easy to lose excitement about going, but tonight has totally reenergized me and I cannot wait until I get off that plane in August.