Sunday, August 1, 2010
Yes, we're finally here!
We know all of you have grown weary of checking this blog to see if we've entered anything in yet! Well, we've been busy settling in, getting our kitchen functional, having Neil settle into his office, and....most importantly! Getting internet and wireless hooked up at our flat (that took more than 1 week)!
We arrived here safely on 20 July 2010, complete with four large duffle bags stuffed full of our winter and summer clothes, shoes, raincoats, winter coats, 1-year's supply of medications (what a coup!), and Mark's new power chair from Sweden (that was just delivered the previous Wednesday), his manual wheel chair, and walker. Thankfully, our Visas were approved and sent to us on Saturday before we left! Whew. What a process that tested our tenacity, determination, patience, tolerance, aided with gin and tonics, as prescribed.
After we managed to get to the gate in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, feeling mighty proud of ourselves (and, we might add....quite exhausted!), the plane at our gate (which had just arrived) managed to not divulge it's luggage from the previous flight. The luggage compartment door was stuck shut. Hmmmm....we waited and all watched for ~20-30 minutes while mechanics scrambled about to open it. Alas....it soon became clear that it wasn't happening by the time our departure was scheduled. Plus, we found out, it was too small of a plane for Mark's power chair to be driven into the cargo bay. So, the gate attendants were strongly suggesting that we change flights. We did so.
This meant, however, getting into Ohare Airpot (Chicago, IL) aobout 15 minutes before our scheduled flight to Frankfurt, Germany was supposed to leave..this was not enough time. Neil typed off an e-mail to Dr. Jan Kvet and Dr. Keith Edwards who were scheduled to meet us in Prague, Czech Republic that the change in flights would result in our being about four hours late.
Unfortunately, Jan and Keith didn't get the e-mail and didn't know about out new ETA until we phoned them from Frankfurt. They met us at the airport....after waiting three extra hours.
Well they weren't as tired as we were. But it was a beautiful warm day and after we miraculously loaded everything into the University of South Bohemia van (thanks, Keith for taking out the back seat in advance)....including lifting Mark power wheel chair up into the van!...we started the journey south from Prague making excellent time until we encountered some road blocks due to car accidents. The lengthy detours ended up making us another hour late, finally arriving a our new flat at around 6pm local time. We met the agent posting our flat on the web and the manager, assisted by Dr. Bara Kubatova, another colleague from the University of South Bohemia.
Bara brought us some bedding after we scouted out ATMs for all of the Czech cash (Kroners) we would be needing for the initial purchase of bare necessities for our flat. We crashed for a full nights sleep at about 9:30pm. Dobri Noce!
Thus ended day One in the Czech Republik.