Hanka a Tonča Domů

I’ve been following (loose term since there is very little news on the subject) a story about two Czech girls that were kidnapped in Pakistan this past March. It’s really sad. Almost five months now and people don’t seem to know anything. There was one video released, and they’re asking for Aafia Siddiqui to be exchanged for the girls. Aafia Siddiqui is being held in a US prison and is supposedly connected to al-Qaida, so I’d say it’s pretty unlikely that’s going to happen.
You never know, something like this could have happened to me and Nicole when we were on our round the world trip last year. The girls were on their way from Iran to India through Pakistan. Personally, you couldn’t pay me to go to Pakistan or Iran right now, but there were some times in India that we both felt a little unsafe (like when our driver got dragged out of his car and beaten up in front of us). It’s really scary to think about what COULD happen, and what HAS happened in some of these places. For some reason there’s a lot of desperate psychopaths out there.
Anyways, I really really hope these girls make it home really really soon. I can’t imagine how awful it must be to be in their situation. I wonder if more media coverage would help things to move along or make things more complicated? Well, Martin and I are thinking of you girls.

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Bergen

This weekend we took a quick trip to Bergen, Norway. Really really beautiful place, though we didn’t have the best weather while we were there. There was light rain on and off and it was pretty chilly up in the mountains. Not the best environment for camping, but we made the most of it! I would love to go back when it’s sunny, it would be gorgeous.
Those two 12oz local beers were $12 each! Norway is super expensive, they seem to be living in their own economically superior bubble there. I wonder how much photographers make there..
After roaming around the city center we took the gondola up to the top of Fløibanen and started hiking from one gondola to the next (supposed to be around a 5 hour hike). It was really rocky and muddy thanks to the rain, so a bit difficult. By the time we were ready to set up our tent we were pretty soaked. Since it was cold out we never really dried off. I had to wear a pair of pants on my head to keep warm. We didn’t bring any camping silverware, so we got to “drink” our can of beans. Despite the cold weather and the fact that the sun doesn’t fully set, we got plenty of sleep and continued the hike the next morning.
In other news, today marks one year that Martin and I have been together! We met a little over a year ago, but we became “official” in Germany this time last year 🙂 We’ll probably grill out in the garden tonight since it’s such nice weather right now. And, we received our NOA1 in the mail from the Department of Homeland Security, so that is exciting!
Last night we spent some time conversing in Czech, and Martin taught me a few new words. It’s obvious to me that making yourself speak in the language whenever you can is the best way to learn. In three weeks I return to Atlanta to work for a few months and I hope I’ll find time to practice..

We have officially mailed our K-1 visa to the US! I’m really really hoping that everything was filled out correctly and that we don’t receive any RFEs (request for evidence) that would slow down what is already a very long process. Now, we have months of waiting and hoops to jump through to look forward to. In about a month I’ll be returning to Atlanta for a few months to work and regain the social life I once had while Martin stays here with his job. These trips home are always bittersweet.
This weekend we went to Hever Castle…but since we got there too late we didn’t get to go in. Instead we had a picnic near the parking lot and then went to a really cute pub. The weather has been nice the last few days!

We are waiting for our potatoes to grow so we can make bramboracky (potato pancakes). Right now they aren’t quite ready..

Hopefully they won’t take too much longer!