Hey ladies and gents and whoever else may be reading...

Alas the time of departure has come, and with it comes the end of my 5 and change month stay in a little town outside of Prague, Czech Republic, Nymburk.  Hopefully with this last blog post, i can give you all a little bit of insight into the world outside the US and get you thinking a little bit. Otherwise, this is what ive been upto these last few weeks and whatnot.  check it out.

As i sit here at my desk, in the far left corner of my 7 by 16 foot bedroom, in the guest house on the backyard of a church, in a small town 30 miles outside of Prague, in the Czech Republic, no words can correctly fit the description of exactly what i want to say.  Hell, that even sounds weird but i guess what im really trying to say is that throughout my half year stay here in the cozy czech republic, this area has become home.  Though its drastically different from what im used to in New Mexico in every sense of the word "different," that being nature, weather, people, atmosphere, style of living, school, friends, language, mindset the list could go on, ive developed a liking for the state of being that im in out here.  Be it, the broken czech that ive gotten used to speaking, or the mischievous antics that we take part in, or even just the everyday life of getting up and going to school, this to me has become "home."  Its a sense i cant really describe, but you know how when you leave "home" to go on a trip, well the whole time you are on the trip, it still feels like a trip?  Well, even though im just on a very long "trip," this place no longer has the sense of "trip" but rather the sense of "home," and the fact that i am going home tomorrow, just feels like i am going on a trip, though in reality im going "home"... if you understand that.

A few things that i am grateful for, and that i have learned on my "trip" are responsibility, independence, and respect.  I know this sounds like im trying to come off as some wise man or something but i really feel that thanks to my stay here, i have at least a BETTER understanding of these traits. I remember that the few weeks before i came, i was pretty nervous and didnt know if i truly wanted to come.  Though i didnt tell anybody, at the time i wouldve rather forgotten about the whole going to europe thing and stayed at home.  I had skiing, friends, life was good, and i couldnt see the benefits that i would get out of coming.  I was looking at the ordeal from a far too superficial standpoint, and if i were to look at it the same way right now, i wouldnt have gained much.  I didnt ski any more than i did in New Mexico, in fact i skied far less.  I didnt really buy anything here of value that could be looked at as a gain, but i learned and gained so much mentally.  Once again, this is starting to sound weird but i cant even fathom where i would be right now or what i would be doing or even the mindset that i would have, because i KNOW that thanks to my trip here i have a different perception on things around me.  If any of you guys ever get the chance to do something like ive had, i seriously encourage you to do it.  Dont let fear stop you from a once in a lifetime oppurtunity like this one... 

To switch it up a little bit, last week with our school, we went on a canoe trip down a river in west Czech Republic.  In total, there were like 50 of us on the trip, and technically it was a trip for Gym class, where we would work out and excersie and whatnot, but it ended up being just a lot of fun.  The first day we got up and rode 3 different trains to get to the region that we needed to be in.  It was a five hour long trip starting at 7:30am and that day we still had to paddle 8 km to our campsite for that night.  I have to add that the weather, didnt exactly cooperate with us the first couple of days and it was cold and rainy for the first two days and nights but the rest of the trip was nice.  A bunch of us, including me, have some experience on canoes so we all had to ride with the noobs on the canoes.  I got stuck with this kid from our class, who is pretty cool, but the laziest fool i've ever seen.  I paddled more than ive ever paddled before thanks to this kid, but at least i built some muscle.  I'll stop the talking here and give you guys some pictures to look at.

oh yeah and six people in one boat was pretty fun.

but it ends like this.

haha these guys were sweet.  they built this all by themselves.  camped on it, had a keg or two and basically just partied a few days on their little homemade boat.

another fun experience was cutting wood for the fire everyday.  We were all responsible for finding our own wood, so every day we had to either, gather a bunch of wood from the ground and whatnot, or cut down a tree.  One of the days, Filip, two other kids, and I went up into the woods to get wood.  I had an axe with me so we decided that we would just cut down a tree instead.  At the campsite that were at, it was i think illegal to cut down any trees but the people there were really unfriendly and mean so they had it coming.  Anyways, we hiked up about half a mile into the woods and we came upon this really nice, 35ish foot tall tree.  Originally we thought it was dead but after we hacked him down, the wood was still really wet.  I chopped with the axe for about ten minutes before it fell, and then we cut it up into little pieces and hacked off all the branches and hit them so it wouldnt look as obvious.  It was pretty sketchy brining armfuls of wood down from the forest one after another for a while though.

Heres a pic of a different tree, but same idea i guess.

And the crew.

On the last night, we camped right outside of this little village on a field thing.  that afternoon we were pretty bored so we went to scope out the area and came upon this sweet secret hidden pond thing.  It was a little dirty, but nothing to bad so we decided that that night we would come back and go skinny dip in it.  It ended up being a ton of fun, skinny dipping at midnight, and though the water was super cold, allowing for quite a significant loss due to shrinkage, it was worth it.  I dont have a picture of any of that unfortunately...

The next day we packed up all our stuff and went home 5 hours by train. 

Other than that, not a ton has been going on.  Im super far behind in packing, so im going to have to cut this one short.  I'll leave you guys off with some random pictures that id taken this last while and some words of encouragement to all you.

Dont let fear get the best of you.  If you know you have something that you want to do, dont let fear hold you back. you only live once, enjoy it while you can and make the best of everything. Try to make more of a situation than what originally strikes your eye.  Not everything is truly how you percieve it, and if you look past the surface of a situation, you can often see that there is for more to it than meets the eye and more times than not, something good will come of it.  Dont stress yourself too much over anything.  Nothing good comes from dwelling on the past, it only changes the future.   Dont make too big a deal about anything, just take life as it comes and enjoy it while you can.  If you have something that you love, DO IT, and dont get stuck in a situation doing something you dont love and last but not least, make the best of every situation and like that one commercial (forgive me, i havent watched tv in over 6 months) grab life by the horns.

As i sit here reminiscing on the last half a year, many good things come to my mind, great memories, great friends, great place and i couldnt be more satisfied with my trip.  I'll leave you guys off with some pictures of the good times i had here.  enjoy them.

(this has to be here, seeing as how it is the face i picture myself having when i say something like this^).

Peace and love everybody.


And now, im off to america for the summer with this fool.  lots of good times to come.