Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Off to Slovakia

  1. #1
    All-Star Achievements:
    Veteran5000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,384
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 0
    Given: 0

    Off to Slovakia

    My wife and I are taking a group of kids of soldiers on a mission trip to Slovakia for the next week. Just wanted all and sundry to know why I won't be posting, and will accept prayers and good wishes for the trip, and for my wife and my patience.

    26 kids, a 15 hour bus ride, and a week helping rebuild an orphanage. Now that's my idea of a great vacation!



  2. #2
    Addict Achievements:
    SocialVeteran50000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Oldpeopleville
    Posts
    9,207
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 0
    Given: 0

    Re: Off to Slovakia

    I envy you... I really want to go to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.....


    "Seven minutes to glory."

  3. #3
    Chile Mac is Back!
    Points: 302,318, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 9.0%
    Achievements:
    SocialVeteranCreated Album pictures50000 Experience PointsOverdrive
    LindenCy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    22,990
    Points
    302,318
    Level
    100
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 327
    Given: 706

    Re: Off to Slovakia

    Good luck! I hope it goes well and you are able to do some good work for the orphanage.



  4. #4
    All-Star Achievements:
    Veteran5000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,384
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 0
    Given: 0

    Re: Off to Slovakia

    We are back, and tired and dirty. We ended up taking 37 kids, and built an outdoor classroom, as well as playing with the Slovakian kids/doing crafts, etc.. The place we worked was in the Tatra Mountains, and it is called Liptovsky Mikulas. It is the location of the Slovakian Olympic training center.

    We also did some basic repairs/painting. The buildings were typical Soviet crap architecture, but the people were friendly (and physically beautiful) and the food was out of this world. Lunch and dinner was typically soup and a small meat entree with potatoes, rice, bread or dumpling. We also got some sheep cheese while we were there. The Slovakian sheep cheese is shaped like a little wooden barrel and is quite tasty.

    Unfortunately, as it was a high school aged kids trip, we were unable to sample any of the world-famous Tokay wine, which originates from that region. I will have to take my family back there and enjoy that on our own.

    I am extremely glad that I was blessed financially enough to be able to afford the trip and do what I could. The kids we were with were really impacted positively as well as the Slovakians.



  5. #5
    All-Star
    Points: 17,024, Level: 39
    Level completed: 72%, Points required for next Level: 226
    Overall activity: 1.0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran10000 Experience Points
    candg4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Nevada, IA
    Posts
    1,030
    Points
    17,024
    Level
    39
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 8
    Given: 40

    Re: Off to Slovakia

    Welcome back, and God bless you and yours for sharing what you have for the benefit of others!!



  6. #6
    Rookie
    Points: 8,260, Level: 27
    Level completed: 19%, Points required for next Level: 490
    Overall activity: 1.0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran5000 Experience Points
    thakeepa14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    540
    Points
    8,260
    Level
    27
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 0
    Given: 0

    Re: Off to Slovakia

    Herbie, sounds like a great experience. I haven't seen your thread until just now.....I was there (well passed thru) 2 years ago and thought I'd share a couple things as well.

    I did a fair amount of traveling thru the Eastern block countries (and the West too) and have to say the ex-Soviet countries are just about the best to travel thru of anywhere in the world. They're cheap (stayed in Budapest hostel for less than $3 US a night), the people are generous and delightful, and quite a few speak at least some English (especially in the urban areas) in their bid to become part of the EU. I suppose I'd disagree with your assessment of "typical Soviet crap architecture," because recently these countries have produced better buildings for less money with influences from both the East and the West. These buildings are truly gorgeous. If you're refering to older Soviet buildings fallen into a state of disrepair, I'd agree with you if we're talking about the residential. The Soviets, if they gave the world anything, was their superior public projects. The ones that weren't bombed out, are also mostly impressive. All in all, I'd say if anyone was travelling to Europe I'd recommend a trip to the East over a trip to the West, unless you enjoy overpaying and ridiculous crowds. And the castles are also better in the East...

    Although my only memory of Slovakia was a dark overnight bus ride between Budapest and Prague, it was still one to remember. I was travelling alone, sprawled out, and asleep with my head on the armrest next to the center aisle. I hadn't slept much the week before and this was going to be my only rest for the evening (I would arrive in Prague the next morning.)
    About 3am, I was physically shaken awake, accompanied with a deep grumble of a language I'd never heard before, until I was on my back. As I rolled my eyes back to see who it was and nearly crapped myself to see a Slovakian border guardsman in full-garb with a furry hat that stood about a foot and a half off the top a his head. After I cleaned my pants, he stamped my passport. And I obviously had some trouble falling back asleep after we started driving again! Anyway, thanks for sharing and for provoking my trip down memory lane...



  7. #7
    square root(31) = 5.56776436
    Points: 493,844, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 33.0%
    Achievements:
    SocialYour first GroupVeteran50000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class
    Angie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    IA
    Posts
    17,422
    Points
    493,844
    Level
    100
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 613
    Given: 2,460

    Re: Off to Slovakia

    Quote Originally Posted by candg4ever View Post
    Welcome back, and God bless you and yours for sharing what you have for the benefit of others!!
    Well-said - my thoughts exactly!


    M 7/09

  8. #8
    All-Star Achievements:
    Veteran5000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,384
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 0
    Given: 0

    Re: Off to Slovakia

    Quote Originally Posted by thakeepa14 View Post
    I suppose I'd disagree with your assessment of "typical Soviet crap architecture," because recently these countries have produced better buildings for less money with influences from both the East and the West. These buildings are truly gorgeous. If you're refering to older Soviet buildings fallen into a state of disrepair, I'd agree with you if we're talking about the residential.
    I was talking about the latter. By the way, the "Soviet" thing ended in 1989. The school we worked on was a 1960s era communist work project. And the Soviet buildings hadn't "fallen into disrepair", they looked like that from the first day they were completed, by and large. The designs were okay yet ugly, the materials were awful and the labor expended to do the job right was even worse. In terms of "added value" the concept that Soviet construction was doing more with less is laughable. I would challenge you to find a single Soviet-era building or machine that is worth more than the energy and materials expended to make it.

    I've been working in and travelling through Eastern Europe since 1985. I've seen brand new buildings being built that were falling apart as they were constructed. If they are not being maintained, chances are they are not WORTH being maintained.

    Native Eastern European construction, on the other hand, is exquisite, and is very, very economical in terms of "value-added" construction. The Czechs and Slovaks are engineering and production geniuses who had been laboring under the restrictions that a controlled economy, and now are free to again ascend to their tradition.



  9. #9
    Addict
    Points: 50,762, Level: 69
    Level completed: 73%, Points required for next Level: 388
    Overall activity: 1.0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran50000 Experience Points
    AirWalke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Des Moines
    Posts
    5,723
    Points
    50,762
    Level
    69
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 12
    Given: 6

    Re: Off to Slovakia

    I've had a similar experience, where I went with my parents and my church's youth group on a mission trip to eastern Romania. We spent a week at an orphanage playing with the kids (who rarely saw that kind of attention), and built a brand spankin' new playground in front of the orphanage.

    The best part of the whole experience was that we drew the attention of a lot of the local teens, who hung out with us and finally got the chance to know most of the orphans living there. Last I heard, we were able to start sort of a grassroots movement. The orphanage employees finally were able to open their eyes and finally allowed locals to volunteer to come in and play with the orphans, rather than keeping them cooped up in cribs the entire day. It really feels good to know that we made that much of an impact.


    Go Sssssssssyclones!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Football
  • Iowa State vs. North Dakota State
  • August 30, 2014
  • 11:00 AM