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To Romania and Back in 48hours:Epic Fail

To Romania and Back in 48hours:Epic Fail

My trip to Romania came and went in 48 hours.I went with from friends Rachel and Eric. The trip there was ok until we went to rent the car. We had problems. Basically the car failed to work and we had to pay for a new clutch. BOO!!! Basically all our plans were shot and it was Easter, which meant that our options were limited for alternatives so, we decided to head back home. We walked a lot. We didn’t have the time to take pictures because we trying to make arrangements to get back to Tisovec.

So I Present to you Travel Poetry Challenge. One of the few things good that came out of the trip. We had lots of time to kill on the train. Each poem is based on a challenge and written during our long travels on the train.

A Haiku By Eric

This haiku sucks balls
Big, huge hairy sweaty balls
It’s quite natural

Baseball Limerick By Mark

Mark McQwire
Went for a driver
He was home run king
But Bonds got a sting
With the drugs he did acquire

Acrostic by Rachel

We are the best, the
Happiest, the most
Inspired, the
Tisovec superlatives – and we
Never would have
Even known it without

Haikus about Goats and Sheep
Goats By Rachel

They have square pupils
Little tufty, beards and horns
Devils in disguise

Sheep By Mark

Bah they always say
Wool and cheese and stupid too
Wandering on hills

Thoughts on Red Headed people in General by Eric

Gingers have red hair and so no soul
Thus they want to eat your brains

A rhyming poem about “The Highlander” By Mark

He is Duncan McCloud of the clan McCloud
He likes to scream aloud
When he’s going to chop off a head
Just before bed
Immortal is he
So he can’t flee
From the death that is abounding

4 lines
2 lines about someone you like and 2 about someone you don’t like
By Rachel

What’s not to like about you?
You’re so smug, supercilious , I can’t stand it
You turned down the chance to prove me right
I hope you never get the chance to prove me wrong

An ode to favorite food at the school Bufet By Mark

Oh Hot Dog s horcicou how I love thee
My mouth water when you are with me.

3 lines 3 moments in History by Eric

A friends betrayal, a bloody knife, the beginning of strife leading to a fall.
Two bombs are dropped, a war is stopped, but he world changes forever
A fall day, two towers sway, American Cry and many ask why

Poem about Muppets by Mark

Animal, Boober, Camilla*, Deeter, Ernie, Fozzie, Gonzo, Harold*, Inchworm, Junior, Kermit, Lenny, Miss Piggy, Nigel, Oscar, Pops*, Quongo*, Rolf, Snuffleufagus, Tarantula*, Uncle Deadly*, Whaddaya Say Bird* , The Letter X*, Yorick*, Zeke
*Internet help after the fact

Quote from Kids TV show by Rachel

“It’s so simple, even Ed can do it”
“cause I’m Simple” -Ed, Edd and Eddy

Poem with starting line from a song by Eric

Sheep go Heaven, Goats go to Hell
Scotland is neat because of sheep
Central Europe where they pile their trash in heaps
Budapest Sucks, Tisovec is swell.

Thoughts on Public Transit by Eric

Public Transportation slow and often stinky
But without it I quess we couldn’t travel so far and wide-sky

Random Anecdote from the last few hours by Rachel

Smugglers always keep their shoes on
Our sock-clad feet prove us guileless

Teaching in Bratislava

Teaching in Bratislava

Ahoj and Greetings from Slovakia. Who would have thought I’d be back in Slovakia again. Last year around this time, I remember thinking “It’s nice here but, maybe not another year”. Well, so now here I am teaching English.

Maciej Dakowicz
Old street – Bratislava, Slovakia

It is amazing how God changes your expectations for life. I am continually amazed at how he provides things for me and leads me. One of the things I said around august of last year was “I’m not quite sure I’m done with Slovakia” I had this feeling God still had more for me to do. I considered coming back to teach the following august. Shortly after thanksgiving I received an email about the need for some replacement teachers in Slovakia. My first reaction was one of surprise and then disbelief. Needless to say I was thrilled at the possibility. After about of a month of anxious waiting and searching for other possible work if it all didn’t work out. I said yes and here I am back in Slovakia.

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Heading to Slovakia, Again

Heading to Slovakia, Again

Hello everyone I’m just letting you know I am going to be heading to Slovakia to Teach English at High School in Bratislava. I going through a program with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. I will be getting a stip-end and housing is provided. Of course whenever you go someplace? new for an extended period time the initial expenses add up. I hoping to raise about $150, it may not seem like much but, every little bit helps. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.  Thanks and God Bless. 

Returning to Slovakia

Returning to Slovakia

Hi, So a quick update…After Spending some time in Chicago to sort through things, and find some direction. I have been given an opportunity to return to Slovakia and teach English. I will be in Bratislava at the Lyceum School. I Should be leaving by the end of January, which is just around the corner. (If you would like to help me out financially you are more than welcome. Please let me know. Don’t get too worried about me though)

My time in Chicago has been fun, I’ve met some amazing people and done some pretty cool things. I’ve been to a Slovak Church, I’ve been to Millenium Park, I’ve riden the CTA, I have eaten Chicago style deep dish, I spent New Years downtown.

I still a list of things I want to do before I leave though. Like eat a Superdawg, actually get some pictures(I’ve been really lazy with that), See a Jazz concert or something and probally more will come up later.

Chicago was just a pit stop, maybe I’ll come back and stay alittle longer next time but for now Slovakia calls. The future looks bright. Who knows where I’ll around the bend, God has a crazy way turning our world upside down.

Slovak Easter

Slovak Easter

Ahoj and Greetings from Slovakia. And Happy Easter.

Mark Molter
Slovak Easter

Well here is my March Update. My March was spent mostly in preparation for Easter or Velka Noc. I was great to experience some of the very unique customs and celebrations. March was also filled with many guests and fun.

I have continued to teach English in school. I find it one of the most challenging things I do here. I try to plan exciting and interesting lessons but every week it is a gamble. Sometimes they seem interested and other times not. As my Slovak is getting better it makes teaching more difficult because they don’t want to speak English. Despite this frustration I keep trying, they are learning probably more than I think. I have also been teaching drum lessons to several of the kids. This is also a challenge because sometimes they kids show up and sometimes they don’t. I have to remind them to come often. When they do show up I enjoy it.

The weeks leading up to Velka Noc were a fun time in youth group. We took the time to read the story of Jesus’ journey to the cross. We then made an illustrated timeline. It was amazing how many things we forget. We sometimes think we are familiar with story of Easter that we forget to remind ourselves of the details. It took us 2 weeks to read, draw and discuss the events. For me, it helped to get a better picture of the passion of Christ and just how great Christ’s love is for us. I can only hope that the youth somehow got as much out of it as I did.

Good Friday or Velky Piatok was a big service. We had about 400 people at the service. The church was packed. I sang with the choir and heard the kids’ choir sing. They had the brass ensemble perform and some people play guitar. It was fantastic. Communion is served only at larger events and significant times during the church year. It took about an hour for everyone to receive it.

The Saturday of Velka Noc, or Biela Sabotu, we had more youth than usual. Mostly from young people returning from school for the holiday. We played a quiz game about the events of the Resurrection and immediately after. With questions like, how many times did Jesus appear to his followers after his death? How many people saw Jesus Alive? The answers aren?t simple and it sparked some lively debate and thorough searching of the bible for answers. From what I have found Jesus appeared at least 5 times and he appeared to at least 20 people according to combined facts from all the gospels. Don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourself.

The Monday after Easter was filled with a very unusual tradition. The tradition involves young men getting girls wet and then hitting them with green branches called a Korbača. The girls then give the guys Chocolate and a Ribbon to be proudly displayed on the boy’s Korbača. Basically, this only process is a huge flirting ritual. I had one of the youth guys make me a Korbača.

Flo, one of the other volunteers from Germany, was leaving early Monday morning. We waited until midnight and went to visit Zorka, who is the vicar and lives next door in our building. We knocked on her door and when she opened it, she was rather surprised. Nothing quite like being splashed with water and being hit by Korbča and then reciting the rhyme goes with it. “Šibi ryby mastny ryby, kus kolača od korbača” She then gave us a ribbon with her name on it and chocolate.

After Zorka we travel to another house that at 3 young ladies living there. When the first girl answered the door we surprised her with water. She then told us to wait so she could get her sister. At the same time the mother Shouted, “Already, it’s so early, quick give me your water buckets, I’ll go fill them.” It was quite a shock to see the mother and the other girls helping us. After all the girls had gone through the ritual we were invited in for coffee and snacks and each girl gave us a ribbon for our Korba?a. Well it was early in the morning so no one else was up so, we went to bed. Later in the morning at a more reasonable hour I went around the village with some of the other young men participated in this ritual at several other houses. It was a fun day and I met many nice girls.

They also traditionally have a small service. The Pastor arranges for all the doors to be locked except for one. Then when all the ladies file out of the Church he can hit them with his Korba?a. Apparently they considered it Good Luck, and wishes for Health and Beauty in the future when they are hit by a Korba?a. With the women being treated like it is often said they boys should watch out the next day but usually nothing happens.

March was also filled with a variety of Guests. Flo’s family arrived to spend Easter weekend in Vrbovce and then go to the High Tatry. It great to meet new people and see the family of people I work so closely with. His mother father and 2 younger sisters were quite a joy. Zorka and I were invited to join in their family Easter egg hunt/walk after the Service on Easter. When Flo and his family left for the High Tatry another group of guests arrived the next day. Oli had spent his Easter in Germany with family and arrived back with his Pastor and 2 friends. They spoke decent English and Oli was able to translate well. I also have been picking up a little German too so that helped. We had some interesting conversations about life in Slovakia. They were here in Vrbovce for about 3 days before they returned. After all these big events I was feeling a little tired and wanted to return to a somewhat normal routine.

Well, what I have I learned this month? I learned how Slovak’s celebrate Easter or Velka Noc. I learned and strange tradition of hit girls with sticks the day after Velka Noc. I have also been learning about patience and catching God’s plan. Much like the Disciple’s after Good Friday, I sometimes think, “Where is God?” When I’m frustrated with working on something I see no end to or I’m teaching English with kids who really have not interested or when I have to chase to remind kids to come to youth group or drum lessons all the time and then they don’t show up.
The disciples heard everything Jesus said but they just weren’t sure what was next. On Easter and many times after Jesus reminded them, “I’m here! I’m Alive”.

We too need to be reminded that Jesus died for our sins but he is a Living God. When the 2 women went to take care of Jesus’ body in the tomb, they met an Angel who said, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” We must ask this question to ourselves when we are frustrated or lack vision. The fact that Jesus was resurrected as he promised makes all his other promises more real. How can a dead God keep his promises? He can’t but Jesus is Alive.

I am reminding myself of God’s Grace everyday that he is working, he is living. I may not see results of my work now or even in a few months but God is there, walking with me through all my joys and frustrations.

Thank you that we worship you, a Living God
One who keeps his Promises
Help us to remember
You are Alive and walking with us
This is not another figure of speech, it is True
You showed yourself to the Disciples
And later gave of yourself to them your Holy Spirit.
We are your Disciples too!!

In your Holy Name, a name that has power of the living and the dead
Jesus Christ

God’s Blessings and Peace be with you,
Christ’s Servant in Slovakia

Mark Molter