No, I'm not referring to the band, though they are pretty fantastic. I'm simply trying to come up with the simplest description of the past few weeks. On August 14th, I said goodbye to my parents and flew solo for the first time out to California, where I was blessed with the opportunity to stay with some family friends in Corona before heading up to Pasadena for training on the 17th.
*Side note: I truly meant to do a post before leaving Indianaland and never got around to it. My sincerest apologies for making you wait in anticipation.*
Since then, two weeks of training have passed. The first week drug on like no other. Seriously, it felt like the longest week of my life. Am I complaining? Not really. It was a great time, but also very overwhelming. We've received so much information that I think my brain (and my binder) are nearing max capacity. Our time is very structured, with little free time, which is one of the main reasons why this blog post is so belated. There are so many things that I could tell you about training, but I don't want to overload you with information, so I'll just give you some of the big ideas.
-I LOVE my team. We've had to do a ton of team formation work (AKA discuss our hopes, dreams, fears, goals, insecurities, etc.) and while that's been very emotionally draining, it's helped us to understand each other better and really bond as teammates.
-Training is composed of all the TeachOverseas teams around the World, including 7 countries besides the Czech Republic, so there are quite a few people to meet. Most of the sessions that I have to attend are for the Central Europe group, which is composed of Hungary, Slovakia, and Czech, so it's sad to bond with people that won't be in Czech with me and my team. But hey, it gives us more reasons to visit the surrounding countries :)
-On week nights, we have something called Practicum, which is basically time that we practice teaching English at local churches. We really are teaching though, so in a way, it doesn't feel like practice. Each teacher has to teach a 40-minute lesson twice a week, and yes, lesson planning is involved. Since I did not go to school for teaching, this is a very new concept, and one that I have not yet fully embraced. It's getting easier, but this is definitely an area where I could use prayer.
Gah, there is so much more that I could say. This past week has flown by, so I can only imagine what the next two weeks of training will be like. Here are some highlights from this past week:
*I killed my first cockroach. It was in our bathroom and I was the first one up, so I was the lucky one who stumbled across it. What an experience, and quite messy I might add.
*I tried tofu for the first time. It was in a noodle stir-fry, and surprisingly, it wasn't terrible.
*I took public transportation for the first time. Oh Pasadena Metro-bus, how fun you are when packed with every single person from training.
*I've started a new devotional/journal experience that I am desperately trying to do daily. So far, so good. More details and musings to come :)
On August 19th, I'll be flying overseas with the rest of the Czech group (there are about 20 of us, 12 being brand new TeachOverseas teachers like me). Of the 20, my team includes two other girls: Shelly and Chelsea. However, there are also two other girls in the same city of Ostrava, so it's like one big team that's composed of two two families.
So there you have it. Hellogoodbye. Goodbye parents and friends in Indiana, Hello everyone at training. Soon to come: Goodbye new friends from training, Goodbye USA, and Hello Ostrava.