Written in fall '06 . . .
I hope everyone is well back there. I continue to enjoy myself here. Actually, I love everything about this place. I love the people, my job, the weather, etc. I think I'll address those in the order given.
The Slovak people are wonderful and oh so helpful! If I had any complaint at all, it would be that they are too helpful. By that I mean I can't learn how to do anything by myself. At the bus stops, people help me with the ticket machines if I hesitate one moment to read something. I can't mention any needs to my coworkers or they'll spend the whole evening trying to help me. For example, I wanted to sign up at a gym the other day. The next thing I know my supervisor picks me up after work and we walk for two hours around town looking for one. After that walk, I didn't need to go to a gym! I can't even ask about bus numbers and their destinations. A typical response would be "Where are you going? I'll go with you and show you the way."
To continue with the theme above, I'm going to Kosice (a nearby city) on Saturday with some friends that were introduced to me by one of my coworkers. After deciding on Saturday, they asked me about Friday and Sunday. I told them that I wouldn't be traveling anywhere on those days to which they responded "But who will take care of you?" Ahhh, what a cross I have to bear . . .
I can't really comment on the trainees yet because they don't come until next week. Right now, we are just prepping for their arrival. I can say, however, that this is a great group of people I work with. Very supportive and always eager to answer my questions. Right now, I can't imagine having any problems with them. It's a small group of only three but will increase to five in September. We have a lot of audio equipment and a good variety of resources. I couldn't ask for anything more.
I know, I know . . . a boring subject to be sure. I just ask that you be patient with me while I describe it. First of all, there hasn't been a day over 75F since I arrived. In the mornings and the evenings I'm tempted to put on a jacket but I see that no one else is wearing one so I endure. Yesterday evening was surreal. It began to shower about 4pm and that lasted for about 30 minutes. Then, the sun came out again (only more subdued than before) illuminating the pastel-colored buildings on main street. As I was walking down this street, I inhaled the air and it was so fresh/pure after the rain. Then, I looked up and saw the first rainbow I had seen in ages! And, it was a really magnificent one, too. It crossed my mind that I might actually be dreaming.
Okay, here are some pictures. All of these were taken this evening around 7pm and within 100 meters of my hotel.
#1 This is the view from my hotel room right before I went out to take other pictures. It's an old Catholic Church but I don't know the history of it yet.
#2 A typical view of main street. My hotel is just around the corner. I love the colors of the buildings, don't you?
#3 The same church as #1 but closer
#4 Another view of the square
#5 A passageway to somewhere.
#6 I don't know what this building is yet, but I will find out!
Don't you just love Europe?
Anyway, I'm sending this one out sooner because I have a busy weekend ahead of me. Coming next week, pictures of Kosice and some of my friends.
All the best, Russ
Here is the link: http://picasaweb.google.com/mccoy4984/TravelogueSlovakia2