Slovakia
Martin District

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    • Day 14

      Week 2: fourth day of class

      July 20, 2023 in Slovakia ⋅ ☀️ 72 °F

      We had another terrific day with our students. Stacy's boys went on another scavenger hunt and had fun making a movie poster. We put on a skit for the students in my class where they had the chance to "Ask Old Men for Advice." I had fun playing the part of Vincent Van Gogh. During walk and talk, my students wanted to talk about their plans for college and the opportunity to study abroad. I had coffee after lunch with Ema and her mom, and Adam asked if I would have coffee with him tomorrow. I'm thankful for the opportunity to make new friends and that these teenagers are so eager to talk about their dreams for the future.Read more

    • Day 162

      Żegnaj Polsko, vitajte na Slovensku...

      October 13, 2023 in Slovakia ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      🌍(bush) (PL) - Žilina (SK) - Martin - (bush)
      📈92km, 350Hm
      🗒️'Żegnaj Polsko, vitajte na Slovensku - auf Wiedersehen Polen, willkommen in der Slowakei'

      ...oder Wenn der Flow mal fehlt.

      In der Nacht gabs viel Regen, aber um etwa 6 Uhr hat sich's ausgeregnet. Unser Material spürt gewisse Ermüdungserscheinungen, der Zeltboden scheint nicht mehr ganz dicht, ebenso bekanntlich auch unsere Packsäcke. Wir packen also ein sehr nasses Zelt sowie leicht feuchte Isomatten & Schlafsäcke ein & fahren um 09:15 los. Als erstes muss grad mal der Bach, der über die Strasse zu 'unserer' Wiese führt, gefurtet werden - führt deutlich mehr Wasser als gestern Abend, kann aber immer noch trockenen Rades passiert werden (es sei denn, frau fährt so schwungvoll durch, dass die Schuhe & Socken nassgespritzt werden 🙈).
      Nach zwei Kilometern erreichen wir bereits die Polnisch-Slowakische Grenze. Es ist erneut ein kleiner Grenzübergang, für Autos gesperrt & dank zwei Betonklötzen auf der Strasse sowie vier Soldaten in Tarnkleidung, mit Sturmhaube, Helm & Maschinengewehr ausgerüstet, kommt auch kein Autofahrer auf die Idee, hier durchzurauschen. Wir Velofahrer hingegen werden ohne weitere Worte durchgewunken. Bisschen ungewohnt, diese Verabschiedung aus Polen, auf's übliche Grenzfoto verzichten wir deshalb lieber & fahren weiter. Auf slowakischer Seite ist weit & breit kein Grenzbeamter oder Polizist zu sehen. Unsere Reise geht somit in unserem 11. europäischen Land unbehelligt weiter:
      🇨🇭 Schweiz > 🇩🇪 Deutschland > 🇩🇰 Dänemark > 🇸🇪 Schweden > 🇳🇴 Norwegen > 🇫🇮 Finnland > 🇪🇪 Estland 🇱🇻 Lettland > 🇱🇹 Litauen > 🇵🇱 Polen > 🇸🇰 Slowakei.
      Komoot schlägt uns einen steilen Feldweg vor, worauf wir aber keine Lust haben & deshalb umplanen. Irgendwie ergibt sich heute aber keine gute Route: Qualitativ sehr schlechte Strassen, Sackgassen, Baustellen mit mühsamen Umleitungen, grosse Strassen mit viel Verkehr,... Liegts an Komoot, am Verkehrsnetz in der Slowakei oder einfach am heutigen 'Freitag, der 13.'? Egal was, aber heute fehlt der Flow. Kurzfristig wird's durch einen Kurzstopp in einer Bäckerei besser (frei nach dem Motto 'Schokolade löst keine Probleme. Aber das tut ein Apfel ja auch nicht'), aber beim nächsten Holperabschnitt ist v.a. Markus' Laune wieder gleich weit wie zuvor. Wir dümpeln vor uns hin, kommen nur langsam vorwärts. Später folgt ein weiterer ungeliebter aber notwendiger Halt, um auf einem Feld bei Sonne & etwas Wind temporär unser Zelt aufzustellen, damit wir abends dann in ein trockenes Zelt kriechen können. Benötigt insgesamt auch wieder 30-45 Minuten & wir sind keinen Meter weiter. Irgendwann führt die Route auf eine vielbefahrene Strasse. Aus Markus' Sicht ist das am heutigen Tag willkommen, so kommen wir endlich schneller vorwärts & können einige Kilometer sammeln; für Steffi ist die Fahrt auf kurviger Strecke zusammen mit vielen Autos & LKWs hingegen der Horror. An einem Tag wie heute führt das dann auch zwischen uns beiden zu seltenen Spannungen & die Nerven liegen kurzfristig blank.
      Wir erreichen das Städtchen Martin & suchen dort ein Café auf. Eine Stunde Pause, Kaffee trinken, potentiellen Übernachtungsplatz eruieren, einkaufen & kurz vor Sonnenuntergang die letzten 10km in Angriff nehmen. Ein toller Abendhimmel & die Erkenntnis, dass immerhin unsere Bushcamp-Suche in letzter Zeit ziemlich effizient läuft (auch wenn wir nicht immer denselben Platz als 'ideal' einstufen; aber mal hat die eine, mal der andere das letzte Wort) hellen die Stimmung wieder auf. 100m abseits der Nebenstrasse, an einem Waldrand, schlagen wir das Zelt auf. Während Steffi das 'Schlafzimmer' einrichtet, kocht Markus zum Znacht Tomatensuppe, aufgepeppt mit Kichererbsen Moroccan Style. Ein wunderschön klarer Sternenhimmel erstreckt sich über uns & deutet bereits an, dass der Flow morgen wieder zurück sein wird😊.

      Ein weiterer kleiner Stimmungsaufheller heute Abend: Wir entdecken auf den Social Media Kanälen des Velogeschäft unseres Vertrauens, Veloplus, ihren Post zum ersten Teil unserer Reise von Zürich bis zum Nordkap😍:
      🔗https://www.facebook.com/Veloplus/posts/pfbid02…
      🔗https://www.instagram.com/p/CyVAQJFKGok/?igshid…
      Read more

    • Day 3

      Arriving in Martin

      July 9, 2023 in Slovakia ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

      Today, we arrived in Martin to a very warm greeting from the staff of the Center for Christian Education. After lunch, we set up our classrooms for the upcoming week. As we were walking through town to our hotel, we stopped for ice cream. A teenage boy heard us talking and said, "it's the Americans!" We introduced ourselves to Oliver, Vincent, and Maxum, and they told us they would be in our class next week. They spoke English very well and we had a nice visit for almost 30 minutes. We went to dinner with Ralph and Bev at a local pub and then walked around town in the cool of the evening. Tomorrow is the first day of class!Read more

    • Day 5

      Second day of class in Martin

      July 11, 2023 in Slovakia ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

      Stacy added one more boy to her group today, and they are all kind and appreciative. It's only our second day, and she's trying to figure out how to bring them all home with her! I had my walk and talk today with four teenage girls. I asked them what they'd like to do, so we went for coffee. They were all very sweet, but I could have used the help of my niece Emma! After class, the school organized a trip for us to visit the nearby town of Zilina. We visited the head protestant church in this region of Slovakia and were treated to a beautiful organ recital. We then stopped at a museum that houses a private collection of Byzantine icons. The curator explained the history of iconography in the Eastern Orthodox Church and presented a sample of their collection. We stopped for a delicious dinner at a local brew pub and then stopped briefly at the Church where the Slovakian Lutheran synod established the first official protestant church in the country. It was another amazing day spent with the warm and generous people of the Center for Christian Education in Martin.Read more

    • Day 8

      The end of the first week

      July 14, 2023 in Slovakia ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

      Today, we finished the first week of class with our students. They created a funny skit that was themed on travel and business to demonstrate their knowledge of ten idioms. My group included three extra idioms and won a prize for being the most creative. We went for another coffee during our "walk and talk" and had a nice conversation about travel. In the afternoon, we finished watching Holes and had our final discussion group. Then we had a time of sharing gifts and saying hopeful goodbyes - that we would see each other again soon.

      Stacy's class enjoyed watching their commercials even though they were a bit shy about their performances. On their "Walk and Talk," Benjamin insisted on treating her to ice cream, and the other boys gave her chocolate. After lunch, they had fun making and flying airplanes.

      After class, Stacy and I stopped by Rasto's Adventure Sport store to do some shopping. I found a nice pair of sandals and Stacy found a hat for walking in warm weather.

      In the evening, Stacy went to a party at the school celebrating the end of the VBS program. A gypsy band performed, and there was singing, dancing, and delicious food!

      I was invited to join a group heading to a local brewery. We road electric scooters, which was a new and exciting experience for me. We all enjoyed delicious food and beer, but most of all, the conversation and friendship. I commented that I liked the brewery t-shirts being worn by the staff and was disappointed that they didn't sell them. I had a wonderful surprise when Anka presented me with a shirt. She knew the owner, called him, and he made a special trip to bring a shirt to the brew pub for me. It was such a kind and meaningful gesture! At the end of the evening, we rode our scooters home, but this time a bit more carefully after the festive celebration!
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    • Day 10

      A day of Praise & Thanksgiving

      July 16, 2023 in Slovakia ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

      This morning, we had the pleasure of worshiping God with our dear Slovakian friends. The service and singing were all in Slovak, but they provided a real-time translation for us. For one hymn, we were given the words to sing in English. Even across language boundaries, it's unmistakable when God is present.
      We are so thankful for this opportunity to serve others. Yet, we know without a doubt that we are receiving the greater blessing from our dear new friends.
      Read more

    • Day 11

      Week 2: first day of class

      July 17, 2023 in Slovakia ⋅ ☁️ 77 °F

      Today, we began our second week of class. Stacy has two returning students, Benjamin and Thomas, and two new students, Mike and Adam. It's another sporty group of boys, and they had fun taking Stacy to the big bouncer in the city square during their walk and talk. In my class, Roman is my only returning student. I also have Natali, Marek, Eva, and Ela. On our walk and talk, we stopped for lemonade and discussed traveling. After class, a teen boy in another group named Adam stopped me to ask about my interest in video games. It was a good topic to break the ice. For dinner, a group of us went to a traditional Slovak restaurant called U Jakuba. The food was delicious, and it was fun to share experiences with the other teachers.Read more

    • Day 13

      Week 2: third day of class

      July 19, 2023 in Slovakia ⋅ ⛅ 75 °F

      During class today, the students created a sales pitch to present to Uncle Hub and Uncle Garth. My team performed a creative skit and song to sell Slivovice. It was a lot of fun! Stacy's class decorated flower pots during art class and then gave them away to strangers during walk and talk.

      After class, Bohdan gave us a tour of the school and explained how education has served as a bridge for sharing the love of God with the people of Martin Slovakia.
      Read more

    • Day 15

      Week 2: Final day of class

      July 21, 2023 in Slovakia ⋅ ☁️ 70 °F

      Our final day with our students was simply wonderful, even though it ended with a few tears and sad goodbyes. There were fun skits, a beautiful violin recital, walk and talks, gifts to exchange, and hugs to be given. The day ended with a farewell dinner, followed by singing and dancing. These two weeks have been such a wonderful experience. We can't wait to return!Read more

    • Day 13

      Martineské Hole

      July 19, 2023 in Slovakia ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

      This afternoon, Roman and Janka took us on a drive to see Martineské Hole, an outdoor sport destination at the top of the hills that overlook Martin. In the summer, there's hiking and cycling, and in the winter there's skiing. We snacked on wild blueberries while we enjoyed the spectacular view. We are so thankful for the kindness and thoughtfulness of our new Slovak friends!Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Okres Martin, Martin, Martin District, Turócszentmártoni járás, Distretto di Martin, Powiat Martin, Districtul Martin, Мартин, 马丁

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