Everywhere you look in Slovakia you can see things that are leftover from communism. The most obvious being the concrete block apartment buildings (we live in one) or the fact that every employer is required to pay at least a certain amount towards its employees’ lunch. My winter favorite though is not so much a communist thing, just a semi-Russian thing. In general, Europeans utilize nursing homes much less than Americans, and elderly people have a place in the community. Even if they are not working, they are out and about buying flowers or visiting a friend. As such, I have noticed that young Slovaks are not the only ones to mind their fashion; on the contrary, the sixty plus age group is quite fashionable.

On average we pass two to three of these ladies and their hats on our way to work everyday. I love it because when I picture Russia, this is exactly what I picture.

Sometimes when I’m at school I realize I should be tapping the source of Slovak knowledge from the kids at school. One of my favorite things to do as of late has been to find out from the kids what their full names are. In general, Slovaks do not use middle names, but I loved some of the full names that I did hear. Among my favorites were the first name Stanislava and the last name Rospotinski, I told them there is NO ONE named Rospotinski in America.

Although this weekend (now about five weekends ago) wasn’t super eventful, we had quite a few laughs. On Friday a lady stopped us and asked for directions po Slovensky and we were able to successfully lead her to her destination and assure her that she had arrived. It was quite an accomplishment. Saturday was my parents 28th wedding anniversary and so we skyped with them after making a giant snowman, believe it or not, it was Burke’s first ever snowman. Several times on saturday evening we saw flashes from outside of our window. When we investigated, we saw that it was one old man from our building taking a photo of his dog with our snowman. Burke shouted out the window that we created it, and to our surprise on sunday evening we heard a knock on the door and it was our neighbor with a copy of the photo of his dog and Albert the snowman.

Also on Sunday we attempted making Halušky for the first time. A few steps went slightly wrong, making the enormous batch a terrible waste of potatoes, but overall the result was not too far from what we expected. Hopefully by the time we come back to America we will be able to make it and share it with all of our devoted readers:).

In other and more current news, one of my kids at school won’t be there for a while because he is at the olympics. I found that out during a conversation with his teacher who I later told that I’m afraid when I go back to America, I will speak s.l.o.w.l.y and s.i.m.p.l.y to everyone and my vocabulary will suffer after adjusting my speech to children with a 100 word repertoire. Also, you can watch that same class’s musical from about a month ago. No need to watch the whole thing unless you have some time to kill, but it’ll give you an idea of how the kids sound.

We’re leaving for Israel and Jordan in only three days. Pray for safe travels. We’ll have tons of photos afterwards I’m sure, but here is one for you now:)