So this summer rolls around, but it's not really summer. No sun, no warm weather, and for a girl (well, 30 year old woman) with a serious need for sun, that gets hard sometimes. To top if off, I'm getting homesick...again. This happens about once a few months or so. I'm still living in my home state, but I'm homesick for the place I lived - Czech. A European, Slavic speaking country. A country in which I lived during my teens, a country whose language I once spoke and love, and whose language I am quickly forgetting.
In my homesickness I decide to teach my husband Czech, but for weeks my husband was too caught up in life to even sit down for a lesson. He was busy completing his own language requirements and studying for his LSAT. When we did finally sit down for a lesson I realized how inherent so much of the Czech language has become to me and how difficult it is for a beginner to pick up a language. Especially someone who has never learned another language. My husband has studied ASL, but trying to explain things I already comprehend and don't remember not understanding is tricky for me. In the end, we managed a few lessons, and he promised to study more once his LSAT is over. Still, that did not sate my homesickness.
Facebook keeps me in touch with several friends from Czech, but it's just not the same. It's not the same as being surrounded by an entire people who speak another language - who approach a problem differently, who think of time differently than I was taught. The closest I have gotten to that lately was at the Grand Canyon when we were walking by tourists and I heard French, German, Russian, and even Czech being spoken by these families and couples. After living in Europe, being surrounded by only English speaking people made me feel claustrophobic, but after time I've been inoculated to it.
All summer this homesickness festered in me, this year more than others. It's been about eight years since I've been back. Going back costs money - I live on the West Coast too, so it's not just a puddle jumper to France and then maybe a train ride over. No, I'd have to fly to Prague or Vienna and then take the train. Plus, I do have a real job, and I'd have to take the time off work. I've never had to worry about that before - I've just been able to go all summer or all of Christmas vacation with loads of time.
I was about ready to put an ad out on Craigslist for someone, anyone that could speak Czech when I got another brilliant idea. Well, I still might put an ad out - but, this idea is safer and in the long run, maybe more fulfilling.