Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ambassador Eisen

Last week I got a call from the US Embassy in Prague that Ambassador Eisen would be coming to Tabor and would like to meet me.  I was soo excited.  This would be my first time meeting and ambassador and he was coming to my school.  I immediately told Romana and we set off to set up the necessities.  I met Ambassador Eisen earlier in the morning and met his wife and daughter.  We all took a tour of the Hussite Museum and the underground tunnels.  After the tour we had a wonderful lunch at a nice restaraunt in town square.  I was able to sit next to Ambassador Eisen at lunch and I was very impressed at how personable he was.
Hana and me after lunch
  Also at lunch was a woman named Hana.  She is the only Jewish survivor from the Holocaust that lives in Tabor.  She didn't speak any English but Marketa from the Embassy was able to translate for us.  It was amazing to hear her story.  Her mom was Czech and her dad was Jewish.  When the Nazis came, she was able to stay with her mother but her father was taken away.  Eventually her mother and all other Jews were moved to a small suburb in Tabor and were not allowed to leave their home.  After all of that, Hana was sent to a concentration camp and survived to tell her tale.
   After lunch, Ambassador Eisen and some US Embassy employees came to my school to speak with my students.  We had arranged so that about 5 students from each English class could come listen to the Ambassador.  We had more students that wanted to come than the room allowed so there ended up being students standing in the back as well.  Ambassador Eisen made a great impression on the students and staff.  He is definitely a politician, never losing an opportunity to promote democracy, always smiling for a photograph, but he also has a great sense of humor and warms a room when speaking.
    After talking with the students, he met with some of my Czech (English teachers) for some coffee and biscuits.  He wanted to know about the education system in the Czech Republic and was interested in hearing what my colleagues had to say.  He was going to be meeting with the Czech Minister of Education the following week so hopefully he will relay some of the concerns that my friends have.
   It was a very VIP day for me and I feel so lucky to have had this experience!!!  Thank you Fulbright again for another life changing opportunity!!!!
L-R:Zuzka, Milena, Iva, Headmaster, Ambassador Eisen, Me, Maria, Romana


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