Kyla and Nick Around the World travel blog

Eva, Nick, Vladislav and some of the staff at Totem

Our first class at Totem

The next class at Totem. The teacher, Gabby, is on the right.

Another class at Totem

Dear students, and teachers Eva and Gabby,

Thank you so much for letting us join in on your English classes last week while we were in Pilsen. We enjoyed meeting all of you and hearing your great English. We were very interested in learning about the modern, and historical, Czech Republic. We had a wonderful time in your beautiful city, and are now exploring your capital city, Praha.

Good luck with your studies and we hope you can use your English abroad when visiting Canada, England, the United States or Australia!

In peace,

Kyla and Nick

(As we promised in class, if you write to us in English we will be sure to write you an email back!)


Some info on Totem for our friends and family...

One of the great things about traveling around the world is that you get the chance to meet some pretty incredible people. Our trip to Pilsen is a perfect example of this because this is when we met Eva. Eva, having started her career off as a teacher but having left the profession on account of differences of opinion with the politics of education at the time (ie: pre-1989).

Eva then worked through to retirement at the Pilsen beer factory. At retirement Eva began to fulfill her life-long dream of travels to other countries - something not possible before the revolution. Eva could have kept it at that. But she didn't. The idea of volunteerism, something foreign to Czech people, as it was not a component of the earlier regime, intrigued Eva. In fact Eva went to the United States to learn more about volunteer work.

With the new knowledge she gained, Eva took it upon herself to begin a volunteer organization in her hometown. With the motif of a totem pole, Eva created Totem - a volunteer run organization that supports senior citizens, people with special needs, and young parents and their children. The organization is not a small project either. An entire wing of a public school is being used by Totem to deliver its programs.

We were very fortunate to have a tour of Totem as well as sit in on some English classes. Our new friend, Gabby, an energetic Mother of a two year old, volunteers each week to teach the English classes that we were able to participate in.

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