Note To Readers: The Next few blog posts are from my Slovakia backlog. I am posting them quite a few months after the fact.
At the very beginning of this crazy journey, when I first put in my application for SIDAS Active English weeks, it was part of a larger winter adventure plan designed to take me out of Malta for the better part of the season. I partied in Berlin on New Year’s, came by train to a country and a program that I knew almost nothing about, drank with Slovaks and learned at least a couple words in the language. I fell in love with Prague, met some awesome people, and truth be told, I was planning on spending a couple more weeks doing more of the same, traveling and learning and seeing everything that this strange, beautiful region has to offer.
Alas, we have come to the end.
Three weeks ago, before I’d left for Stary Tekov from Bratislava, I met up with the co-workers: Jack, Clara, and yes, even Dave. Jack, it seemed, hadn’t had the best of weeks, and when we met he was already suffering the first symptoms of a winter flu. Still, he only had a couple weeks left before he headed back to Regensburg, so he resolved to power through, and we all went our separate ways.
By the time I’d gotten on the train to Kosice after leaving Stary Tekov, I knew we had a problem. I’d been sniffling a bit all week, but I hadn’t payed it much mind, until, on the five hour train ride across southern Slovakia, every part of my body started aching and my throat went raw. Thankfully, in Kosice, the guys at the Club Madrid hostel took pity on me (and their guests), giving me the private room upstairs instead of sticking me in the dorm. I spent the first half of Easter Break mostly unconscious as my body tried to recover from whatever this was, before meeting my friend Suz in Krakow.
It was only after heading back to Bratislava after break to bid goodbye to Jack and wait for my next assignment that I found out half the schools had cancelled their Active English Weeks. I’d been expecting to head back to Stary Tekov, but apparently too many students had gotten sick over Easter Break to justify running another program with SIDAS that coming week–they’d have to wait for the kids to get better and were working on rescheduling. I was only supposed to work two more weeks, before heading to the Writers’ Retreat in Iceland, so I asked Dave if I could expect any more work before then.
The answer came swiftly: probably not.
So here I am on a bus to Berlin, hoping that one of my friends there might be able to host me for a bit before my flight to the remote north. I can sincerely say that SIDAS has been an… interesting experience, and I’m glad I did it. But it wasn’t without its issues. Still, the road goes on, and the next adventure promises to be something completely different:
Iceland Writers’ Retreat, here I come!