Hi everyone! Thank you for all your support, questions, and messages! I loved reading them, and I really appreciate your support :0)
Life in Prauge has been great! I must admit I'm still on vacation, so I've been out late and sleeping in everyday... this will sadly end this week as orientation week begins at Sunny Canadian on Tuesday. I've been doing a little bit of sightseeing, but mostly I've been trying to master getting around town. Prague public transportation is a wonderful, easy system, however, as I said before the names of places can be tricky to listen for and read. I live between two major tram stops, and one tram stop away from the red metro line (what I will take to work). Unfortunately, I will be taking a tram, metro line, and bus to school EVERY day, but I will let you know how that is later....
One of my favorite aspects so far has been the architecture all around the city. Each building has completely different architectures, colors, and styles (Baroque, Gothic, Roccoco, Art Noveau) to it. I notice something new every time I pass the same building on my way into town. Its awesome. Another interesting point I've noticed is there is no open container law here. For example, you can walk or take public transportation with a beer in your hand. Because of the accustomed culture here, you don't see everyone with a jug of wine in their hands walking to the bars, but those things are more acceptable.
I've been trying to settle into my bedroom and make it more "me," so Sara and I took a trip to IKEA the other day. It was like going to Disney world! There was a special bus from the metro station to take us there, huge line for the food (IKEA sweedish meatballs rock!), and all the home goods one girl could need. Another trip is needed soon, however, because I didn't realize bedding was sold a la carte here! (my sheets didn't come with pillow cases)! I will definitely take pictures once I have everything done. Sara and I also enjoyed a wonderful afternoon the other day eating strudel and reading at the park! We live close to the best strudel place (Samatha Brown highlighted it on her travel channel show), and also close to a giant park on a hill. It was nice to just sit in the shade and enjoy the afternoon.... again not going to do this when work starts.
Food, overall, has been good. I tend to stick with what i know, so I've been eating a lot of pizza (hawiian!!) :) As far as American food places, I've seen Ben & Jerry's, TONS of KFCs, subways, startbucks, and TGIF Friday. I've been grocery shopping once, and need to go again for school lunches... Things are pretty cheap and easy to find (much like living in Columbus), however, it took me about 15 minutes to decide what kind of ham I wanted (about 10 varieties). I went for the one that looked most like deli ham and had a picture of pigs on it. haha
Uncle Larry, you asked about health care... It's technically socialized because everyone that has a job is provided health care from their employer. I believe the employer pays most, if not all for the insurance. Co-pays are extrememly cheap. I'm not really sure about the details... but I'll get back to you!
Next week is Welcome Week at school (orientation) where I will learn exactly what I'm teaching. I, and the rest of the new teachers, will be heading to Dresden, Germany on Wednesday to drop off our visa documents. If all goes well, we will have to go back to Dresden in a little of a month to pick them up! Thursday, we (staff at Sunny Canadian) are going on a dinner cruise along the Vltava river- very excited!! I feel like I'm leaving out some things, but I'll keep writing!! xoxo