Saturday, May 26, 2018
8:30 AM: The doors to WiP were open and waiting for us each to wheel our luggage in, officially vacating our first Remote Year homes. Deb, Erica and I wrapped up our packing, and started hauling our lives downstairs. We brought down our offerings for the next group (can’t let the alcohol and olive oil go to waste!) and said goodbye to our first apartment as our time together as roommates came to a close.
9:00 AM: With all our bags piled next to the wall and our final offerings ripe for the taking, we waited for the busload of sleepy-eyed Kanyini’s to pull in (they flew in early from Marrakech). In the meantime, Carol had saved two Kairos vineyards wine bottles, filled them with dried wild flowers and provided the supplies for us to each sign. As we finished up our parting gift to WiP, Helena and Mate, the Kanyini’s rolled off the bus and the crepe station got started.
9:30 AM: Crepes in hand, it was time for some community building games to get to know our fellow remotes. We started outside, picturing a map of the world. Travis asked us a number of questions as we moved around the globe and met people with similar answers.
10:00 AM: From there it was back to the AC for speed dating with a twist. With every minute came a new Kanyini and a new question for each of us to answer. Can’t say I remembered many names, but we had a lot of fun!
11:00 AM: Kanyini was celebrating a birthday! Helena and I had helped get a big bouquet of flowers to surprise Delphine, and after she was presented with her gift, Kairos learned all about the hot seat. The birthday girl was bombarded with questions, but she was a trooper and answered them as quickly as they came!
11:30 AM: It was time to wrap our final goodbyes and get on the bus. After some tear-filled hugs from the city team and multiple passport reminders, our bus rolled out of the parking lot. Month two had officially begun!
12:30 PM: The airport was insane! After some confusion on where to check-in, we were in line when the craziness really began. There were questions galore – What airline? What flight? What was our confirmation code? Wait – there’s a baggage weight limit? How much does it cost?
PSA: RY takes care of all travel arrangements, including drop-off and pick-up at the airport for transition days. It is our responsibility as participants to get ourselves through check-in, customs, onto the plane, back through customs, and retrieve bags.
Wondering how everyone made it to Split and laughing it off, I offered up the necessary information to help those around me, and quickly finished up at the desk to make my way through customs. After receiving my stamp, I walked past the agent and into craziness. It was packed! I weaved my way through all the bodies and was lucky to grab a handful of seats as a flight departed our gate.
I can’t begin to explain how packed the airport was – there were people everywhere with standing room only. It was hot and flights were delayed. The boards weren’t updating as quickly as we were used to, causing confusion as our departure time quickly approached and then passed. I tried to stay to the side with a quiet group, away from the commotion of games and booming voices killing time, in an effort to keep my sanity in the packed room. Welcome to the start of high season!
3:00 PM (ish): The time to board finally came and we quickly shuffled to our seats. Sharon and I had a nice conversation over Cup of Noodles before settling in for the remainder of the flight. It was a relatively easy flight, and I was quick to deplane, hit customs and make my way to baggage claim. The group began to gather as we waited for our bags, and then we made our way to arrivals to meet our new city team!
5:00 PM (ish): Tereza, our amazing experience manager, was waiting to welcome us with her signature smile! She pointed us to Danny, our talented operations manager, where we converged to collect our new SIM cards and public transport passes. Once everyone was accounted for, we split into our designated vans for the ride to our new apartments. Waiting on our seats were treats from the city team, a welcome sight after our long travel day. With a fresh bottle of water and my first Corny bar in hand (get the right flavors and they’re awesome), excited chatter lasted for the ride into city center.
6:00 PM (ish): This was the month to tone my butt! Located on the fifth floor with a mini elevator we shoved our suitcases in, we began the trek upstairs. Jessica, Sheila and I explored the place and selected our new rooms.
Our apartment was an interesting three bedroom setup. There was a bathroom with a shower and sink, with a separate toilet room at the back. There was a small kitchen with eating area, but no living room. However, each of our bedrooms was a good size with a desk and couch. I spent some time unpacking and settling into my new place before starting to explore. With my new transportation card, I hopped on the first tram I saw and when I saw a cool church, I jumped off to wander the streets.
Prague is absolutely beautiful! The architecture is intricate, the sidewalks are decorative and the doors are majestic. I wandered around taking pictures and visiting the Catholic Church before making my way to the river to see the Dancing House. From there, I found a traditional Czech restaurant, and settled in with a glass of wine and my journal. I had a tasty dinner of stuffed chicken (minus the liver) before finding the tram back to my new home.
My first night in Prague was the perfect beginning to the month, with time to reflect, focus on myself and explore an incredible city that I absolutely adore. If it said anything about the remainder of the month, it would be one not to be forgotten.