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Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13th - One year anniversary of move to Prague...

The three of us arrived in Prague one year ago today. It has been an interesting adventure so far with many great experiences tempered with the frustrations that come with living overseas.

On the plus side, we have got to know Prague and some of the other beautiful sites elsewhere in the Czech Republic. In addition, we have been fortunate enough to have spent time in Geneva, Berlin and Vienna.

Noah has had a great experience at the International School of Prague and now has friends from countries from all corners of the globe.

Kathy has been able to not work and spend her time with Noah and volunterring at Noah's school.

I have enjoyed working for Radio Free Europe and the challenge of our new building project (a web cam may be in place next week to show the ongoing construction).

On the flip side, my father passed away six months after we arrived here. This was my biggest concern about moving so far away and I was barely able to get home to spend a few hours with him before he passed.

While most people think about the good things about living in an exotic location, there are also frustrations. The language barrier makes even mundane tasks like grocery shopping an exercise in futility.

We have to keep a separate stash of money in our glove compartment to pay the "fines" levied by the police when they pull you over for some minor infraction. Everyone knows they keep most or all of what is collected. Fortunately, it has only happened to us once so far.

Kathy had an unexpected need for medical services in February, and although it wasn't life threatening it required us to navigate a foreign medical system.

The dollar continues to slide, raising our costs (our lease is in Euros) and leaving less for saving and fun things.

All in all, it has been a good experience. I especially think it will serve Noah well as he gets older. How much longer will we stay? That's hard to say. At least one more year, and maybe two. But time will tell.

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