Building bridges in Blatna

Day 5 began with us sharing a lovely little breakfast together and enjoying one another’s company.  Laughter among us is NEVER in short supply!  The day began with prayer for God to help us in our classes, for the children to be actively participating in conversation, and for bridges to be made with the teachers, so that we could begin building stronger relationships with them.  When we got to the school, we split up for classes, Martina and Matt were to teach fourth grade, while Jon and I were to teach ninth grade.  Our class was awesome!  Their EImagenglish was quite good, we were able to carry in fairly extensive conversations with them.  We had them draw some family trees and when we broke up into smaller conversation groups, we had them describe their families to us.  It definitely helped have the family tree in front of them.  Next up?  We had a break where we were able to sit down and really verbalize with the teachers that we were here to really help them and support what they were doing in their classes.  We asked them what they needed most from us, so that we could make those needs a priority in our lesson plans.  It was great hearing from them, altho I think some of our questions got lost in translation.  Our next class was fifth grade.  What a fun class this was!  Our theme for the class was animals.  We had the kids list as many animals as they could and then we played a game with them.  We even got their teacher to play as well!  Finally we split up into smaller groups and worked on conversation with them.  The next class we had was eighth grade.  We decided Food was probably a pretty safe topic at this point with the kids.  I mean, come on!  Who DOESN’T like to eat???  The kids listed different foods, we talked about meals etc and then broke up into groups for conversation. (Can you tell conversation became a theme here?)  Lastly we had another ninth grade class.  This class wasn’t quite as advanced as our last ninth grade class so we had to simplify our Family Tree and conversations with them, but overall they did quite well.  We had a delicious lunch of rabbit with dumplings and gravy at school, and then headed back to the hotel to decompress for a little bit.  During the morning at the school, much to my surprise and delight, Lucie, the teacher who organizes all the classes we teach in, invited me to join her and Martina, as well as a few other teachers for coffee in the afternoon.  The guys left to find a coffee shop before Martina and I met the ladies from the school.  Just as a side note to let you know how amazing this was, and what a clear answer to prayer this was, we had literally been praying that we could meet with the teachers outside of the school in a more social setting, just the day before.  Our time with Lucie, Olga, and Petra was so sweet.  They were really open and shared their lives with us.  This seems to very out side of the norm for Czech people, according to Martina.  Upon returning from coffee, during which we found out we have a lot in common, we met up with Larry and the guys to head back to the school for some English conversation practice, open to the public.  About 12 people came from town, ranging in ages from young to old.  It went so well we ended up going over time!  Then it was off to dinner.  We decided to try a new pub that Petra (from coffee) had recommended.  To our surprised and delight, the pub had great wi-fi and good food.  We brainstormed lesson plans for our next day’s classes while trying to stay awake.  When we got back to the hotel, deliriousness had set in, we were to the point of laughing hysterically at just about everything!  Make sure to ask Martina about dog-shoe after chili when she gets back!    Team time was spent praying and laughing together, and then we all fell into bed exhausted but thrilled that our day had gone so well, and God had opened so many doors for relationships to grow!  Our hearts are so full!  

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