Monday, February 20, 2012

Car and Travel

We are currently planning our summer vacation now and we are struggling on how we should get a car. We want to buy a car in Croatia. However we need to have residency before we can register for a car there, and that can take up to 2 months to process. This might be some of the red tape still existing from the communist era. So we might have to rent a car for a month, which is very expensive, and we would love to use that money to go towards our new car that we would eventually purchase anyways. We are looking into other options such as finding someone that is leaving the country at the same time we are coming into the country. We are also looking into neighboring countries to buy our car where we don’t need a residency. Then once we have residency in Croatia, we could then register it.

Once we get the car thing settled as well as our travel dates of coming into Croatia, we are hoping to plan a 3 to 4 week vacation to really get to know the country of Croatia. Last time we traveled Croatia we really rushed our travel experience into one week. This time we really hope to spend more time in each place and truly enjoy the slow café life that Croatia has to offer. Where we can socialize, read, journal, draw, take photos, and enjoy great coffee and food. J Here is our map of destinations.

View Croatia Summer 2012 in a larger map

We are going to mix camping, guest housing, and hoteling to save on cost. However getting a guesthouse to stay at is pretty inexpensive and can really add to the experience, because you can really get to know your landlords. When we were in Trogir at a guest house, the landlords were a married couple. The woman was an elementary teacher and the husband was a computer programmer for the Croatian Military. We asked about the state of education and the war. They asked about the American culture, and politics. He handed me a book “My Life” by Bill Clinton in Croatian. I thought was pretty funny at the time. However in this last year I read “Back to Work” by Bill Clinton and really enjoyed it. It has solid points and perspective on where we should go as a country in our current economy. Anyways the landlord told us how influential Bill Clinton was on the Croatian’s War of Independence. He said “There are 3 countries in the world you don’t mess with: Israel, Russia and the USA. During the war the USA took out the enemies major communication networks with large air strikes. Then within three days the enemy retreated and left the area of Croatia.” So as result of our conversation we got to learn a little bit about the history and perspective of someone that was there during the war.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Small World

The art teacher at the American International School of Zagreb that I’m replacing is actually from the city of Richland in Washington State and went to Western Washington University. One of the math teachers went to Central Washington University and he did his student teaching at Davis High School in Yakima, which is Eisenhower’s rival (where I teach now). Another teacher who is going to be my “buddy” is originally from Croatia and has spent some time in Yakima and Seattle. He is my “buddy” because the school connects new teachers with current teachers to make the transition smoother. If that wasn’t enough, there is another teacher at AISZ from New Jersey whose mother’s maiden name was Mirkovic(h) and her family was from an Island called Susak which is north North of Dugi Otok where my family originated from. Are we related? Who knows. Stay tuned!

Update on my Croatian lessons. They are progressively getting tougher and they are demanding more time for mastery. It’s taking me now about a week for each lesson. I’m spending about an hour or more each day on it. I’m currently on lesson 10 of 30. At this pace I should be done with all 30 by the time I get there. I want to push myself so that I can use the language in its context. It’s all a mystery right now because I never learned another language before and I don’t know how my learning disability will play in this process.