Trying new things

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Thanksgiving dinner

This year marks the third year in a row that I have been away from home for Thanksgiving. This year it didn’t really feel like Thanksgiving at all, well at least not on the day. Probably the biggest reason why is that I had to work all day Thursday and Friday. Second, there are no Americans in my town so I had to wait until the weekend to celebrate, and third, cooking Thanksgiving on a cooker really isn’t ideal. That being said when I did meet up with the rest of the Fulbrighters we had a really lovely time. I also was able to Skype with my family which was also nice. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to spend a year abroad and for all the people in my life who support me.

Ugly Sweater Fulbright Family Portrait

Ugly Sweater Fulbright Family Portrait

Last weekend I started to really think about what I wanted to get out of this experience. I decided that I wanted to use this time to really make the most of the time I  have left. I started a new exercise ball class that meets once a week. I woke up on Wednesday with a very sore back so I decided  to join  some of the teachers at my school in the class. Man was it was difficult! For the better part of an hour I did things on that ball that I’ve never even dreamed of. The next day I woke up with sore arms and abs, but my back did feel better. Overall, it was a good experience and I definitely will be going back. Plus, its nice to see the English and PE teachers outside of school. At the end of the lesson, some of my students came into the gym because they had basketball practice. Their coach said that I could stay and play if I wanted but I was pretty whipped. I did shoot around with some of them and was told that I shoot like a “typical girl” whatever that means! Later that night I went to a capoeira performance in the upstairs gym which was pretty cool. Capoeira is a Brazilian form of martial arts but it is also a sort of dance. The event was called “batizado” which means baptism. At the end, they had a ceremony in which people received new belts depending on their level. I realized how much I miss live music. That is definitely something that I will get a lot of  once I get to NY!

batizadocapoeira-nymburk-2

Photo courtesy of nymbursky.denik.cz

At the capoeira performance with my student.

At the capoeira performance with my student.
Photo courtesy of nymbursky.denik.cz

batizadocapoeira-nymburk

Photo courtesy of nymbursky.denik.cz

I have given myself a new challenge- to make a new dish each week. This weekend I came to the conclusion that I could eat Pad Thai forever so I decided that I should learn how to make it. I searched around on the internet and finally found a recipe that I could do with the limited ingredients available in the “Ethnic Section” of my local Alberts hypermarket. My first attempt was “not as poor as it could have been,” (Severus Snape voice) but it was still missing something. I decided to deviate from the recipe and do like my Uncle Tony and doctor up the sauce with a little bit of this and that. It was the bomb (dot) com and I can’t wait to make it for my sister when she comes (t minus 16 days!!!) I am really proud of myself because I feel like it was one of my first culinary accomplishments. For most of my life I have not had to feed myself so this whole cooking for myself thing is really new to me and also really a good skill to develop before I go off to graduate school.

My second attempt at Pad Thai. Delicious, delicious( Fenrir Grayback voice).

My Pad Thai was delicious (Fenrir Grayback voice).

In other news, I have also been trying to learn how to waltz, tango, cha-cha, foxtrot, salsa, and polka for the ball this weekend. Unfortunately learning how to dance on youtube has proven to be quite the challenge. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be embarrassed but I really don’t know what they expect from me. It’s not like I  learned how to dance like that in the States! The best part is that the ball is held in my building so I don’t even have to wear a jacket or bring a purse. Living in an office building has its perks!

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