Sunday, August 3

We leave tomorrow morning. Our final flight (minus Christian) is Delta flight 2011 Departing Atlanta and arriving at IAH at 10:38pm. If you want to pick up your guy at the airport you may. Everyone else will go, by taxi, to Jesuit where they can be picked up. I will be calling people from the airport (if you're not there) to let you know an ETA at Jesuit. You can follow our exact ETA using

Saturday, August 2

1st Full Day in Dublin

We arrived in Dublin yesterday. It was a long day (after a couple days of end of program parties) so we were pretty tired. We wandered around the Temple Bar area where we are living, had dinner at an Italian place with Rex's mom, and then went to bed early. Today we got up and headed out to Trinity College where we toured the Library and saw the Book of Kells. The guys kinda ran through the place (I think they thought it was boring, even though it is one of the more important written documents in Western civilization...part of how it is that the Irish saved civilization). Then we hiked over to a famous Gaol (jail) here in Dublin and took a tour of it. I was a little bored there, but still thought it was worth it. We then headed to the Guinness Storehouse and the guys took in every detail of the place. You would think it was Stout beer that had saved civilization instead of Medieval monasticism. It was a very interesting tour and we all had a great time. We then hurried to meet Rex's mom for dinner at a Gallagher's Boxty House , where we had either boxties or fish and chips. Tonight we are going out to Temple Bar area and Pruett and I are taking the guys over to a discotech while we repose at The Dubliner. I think we will end a little early again, today was a full day.

Thursday, July 31

We leave Krakow in the morning. I finished processing the grades this afternoon and the program was wildly sucessful. Every student showed an increased proficiency in every domain of English. Some people skyrocketed, some limped, but all progressed. It's a good feeling.

We were given a warm send off tonight. We had dinner at Pod Wawelen "At the foot of Wawel" castle. Then we came back to the college for a "haustus" as we call 'em in Jesuit circles (a haustus is a house party). Tomorrow morning we will head off to the last leg of our journey in Dublin. Monday we will be home.

Wednesday, July 30

Last Day of Class

Today our program finishes. I give the written exam in 30 minutes and then give oral exams for the rest of the day. I can honestly say that I am ready for it to be over. I'm one tired puppy. When the scores are all in and I can see the student's improvement I will probably get another boost of energy...then we are off to Dublin for a couple days of pure non-stop fun.

Tuesday, July 29

More about our Hike

On Sunday the primary aim was to climb Mt. Giewont (pronounced Gyeh-vont). It has the nickname "The Sleeping Knight" because, if you look at the video in a post below or pictures in this post you will see, the range looks like a person lying down. Giewont lies in the area of the Polish Tatra National Park (TatrzaƄski Park Narodowy). In Polish folklore it is associated with a legend about sleeping knights, who will awake when Poland is in danger. The profile of the mountains is similar to a lying knight, wherein the Long Giewont is the knight's torso, and the Great Giewont is the knight's face as viewed from the side (the three 'peaks' being the chin, the nose, and the eyebrow). The cross where we hiked is on the "nose" of the knights "head". The image of Giewont as viewed from the south makes the profile easy to discern. The first portion of the hike consisted of climbing to the top of Mt. Kasprowy Wierch (6,519 feet) where we took a little break and had some hot chocolate and snacks in the little ski resort restaurant at the top. The next portion of the hike was along the peaks of a few small mountains, circling our way towards Mt. Giewont--heading towards the cross. We ascended on our third mountain peak to our highest elevation of 6829 feet (I'm not positive, but I think it was Kopa Kondracka). We then had to climb most of the way down to the valley and then reascend Mt. Giewont (Mr. Pruett and I were dubious of our ability/desire to climb another mountain, but the cross beckoned me and I beckoned Mr. Pruett so we both climbed to the top). Mt. Giewont was, without doubt, the most difficult portion of the climb, but my favorite because there were chains and you had to pull yourself up, giving my legs a much needed break. The guys have taken to calling me "Old Man Reedy" and I earned that moniker this weekend. I've got the knees of an 80 year old! Here is a pic of Old Man Reedy with my trusty walking staff that weighed probably 50 pounds. (I carried it only for the picture)

The trip down was, as always, the hardest part. Our legs were tired and our energy spent so the trip down was brutal. People often make the mistake of thinking this part is easy because you are using gravity to your advantage. Not so.

We separated into two groups during the hike, according to pace. I was in the slower group and finished the hike officially last...even though I was the most experienced of all the American hikers :(

We then hiked back to Zakopane and our house where food and showers awaited.

The Mountaineers