21 may 2001
Was going to write in my journal most of last evening but we got talking to our very nice hosts so I didn't quite make it. The hockey game was a pretty typical evening with a lot of people drinking and getting silly. During the game the Czech team was losing 2-0 up until the final period. Somehow it was tied and the game went into overtime. It was during this time that I was kidnapped by the Czech and I partied with them at one of their reserved seats. During the overtime or the sudden death the first team to score wins, the Czech scored first and the place went nuts! During the celebration the Czech guys would take off their shirts and wave them around their heads in a circle, so I had to do that as well. After the game, Sanna and I drank more beer and Frankie and George wanted us to go to another place since the current place was closing down. Frankie and George are some local youths we were partying with and having a great time. We tried to go to another bar but they were either closed or wouldn't let us in. Eventually we made it back to our accommodations, but not before we did some pushups in the street and other silly things. After getting inside we made some tea and happened to meet Petr coming home from his meeting. Kosaku, Sanna, Petr and myself hung out and talked about Broumov and volunteerism until 3:30am and then we pretty much crashed and fell asleep.
The next morning we were up at 9:30am eating some breakfast and getting ready to do some work. At this point I was getting my clothes pretty dirty and Monday morning was no exception. Well at least I was majorly dirty. I don't recall what we had for dinner that evening, in fact I may have helped Sanna cook dinner. If we cooked dinner it was some vegan food with meat substitutes. We also tried to make the meal special for everyone by having some fresh flowers at the table and we also bought some candy for everyone as a surprise. Everyone was pretty tired after working so we all pretty much just ate. I'm not sure what we did that evening, possibly we went out and did some light drinking, but probably not since everything seems to be closed on Monday. The people in the camp are really very cool. I am the oldest with most everyone else being 19 or in their early 20s. During the work we sing songs and try to make the time pass. In the morning I greet the women with a good morning sunshine which they seem to enjoy very much.
Tuesday we headed to a special area of Broumov with very nice rock formations. We hiked most of the day in the rocks and had a good time. We had to stay in a town down the road for a few nights, since our original accommodations we were using had already been rented out prior to our arrival. We stayed in a pension in one large room. I unrolled my sleeping bag and ground mat for the first time. My bag was in pretty good condition after being placed in the stuff sack for so long. My sleeping pad was having some issues inflating. I don't think it likes being in the stuff sack for extended periods of time. Anyway the pension had a library and an internet connection which Petr let us use. The first night I didn't use the Internet and we all pretty much just hung out and talked and walked around town to check out all the closed shops. From the town we were taking a bus into Broumov at 9:50am so we were getting up early so we could shower and eat and get ready for work. On Wednesday the brewery, pivovar, had an inspection of some of its structural components. We mostly waited for instruction from Petr to do some manual labor which included exposing some more support beams or removing stuff that wasn't supposed to be in the floor. I also accidentally broke an ax handle while trying to break apart some rotting wood, ooops. After the inspectors left we finished up some work and we got to hike 12km back to the pension.
We started out at about 1:30pm on our hike. The first part was very easy and flat with very nice countryside. The trail was fairly well marked and easy to follow. While walking in the Czech countryside we would frequently come across a monument, a statue, usually secular. Right in the middle of nowhere. The most difficult part was climbing the hill between the two towns. Since we did not have a large breakfast and the day was wearing on, the climb was difficult. I also think I am not accustom to the vegan food, as well as the other non-vegans in the group, we did not feel as strong as we should have been. At the top of the hill we ate at a nice restaurant. We were all starving and a little frustrated with the difficulty of the climb. When we arrived at the restaurant it was about 4pm. I washed my hands and face in their WC and then we ordered. Lien helped me order since the menu was in German. I actually just ordered what she ordered, it was very good. It was pork on a stick with fry's and salad. We also had a general good time. Fortunately Sanna was not at hand to witness us falling off the vegan wagon. The food and beer was very good and it restored our strength.
We left the restaurant sometime after 5pm and made our way down the hill towards the pension. On the way we took a wrong turn and fortunately figured it out in time. We finally made it back by about 7:30pm. My feet were killing me so I washed them in a pot. That night we had some more great vegan food called Seitan, a bread-like meat substitute with potatoes and salad. It was great! Later I checked e-mail and some pictures and slides one of the locals had left for me. A lot of the pictures were of items we saw on the trail from Broumov. It was getting really late and I was very exhausted from the walk so I crashed up stairs at the pension.
We were just having a picnic and I wrote a poem:
There once was a peep named Frank His mother who would often spank And then one day at a quarter to three He had some beer which he drank
We are back in the kindergarten hanging out drinking the remainder of the wine. In a few minutes Sanna and I will be making some bread, but first I might get some wine.
I just ate way too much rice and I feel like I am going to explode. Thursday morning was brutal. I got up super early and showered, shaved and packed so we could make it to the bus on time. The first thing we did was make our way to our new accommodations in Broumov, a doctor's house. After we dropped off our packs we headed to the brewery and worked for a while. Later on that evening we headed out and did some light drinking and tried to get into bars before they closed. I think starting that evening we decided it would be better to buy our beer and drink at the good doctors house because a lot of bars close at 11pm. Actually that first night the good doctor was feeding us fruit and meat. We also made plans to meet with his family the following evening. I have just been corrected on the order of events by Lien and Marieke. Thursday evening we met with some local high school students and talked with them about a variety of things. Friday we went back to Vegas for a dance party and had a blast. Saturday the good doctor cooked us some meat and we had a great time talking to him and his family. Anyway, back to the students, they were very nice and polite. It was kind of a forced meeting so it didn't go as smooth as it could have gone. One of the students, Michelle, a very tall lady will study economics in Praha. She was pretty cool and spoke English very well. She as also wearing yellow pants and a yellow hair thing, it was silly.