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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ARK in Berea - Märchengarten (Fairytale Garden)


Märchengarten

Pohadkovy Les – Fairytale Forest


ARK in Berea - Pohadkovy Les (Fairytale Forest) is a traditional Czech way of getting children off the sofa and out into the fresh air. Adults dress up as famous characters from Czech fairy tales and head off into the woods. The children then follow a path through the trees and magically come across princesses, devils, witches, jolly kings, capering fools and the inevitable wandering-pauper-who-turns-out-to-be-the-rightful-heir-to-the-throne.
The Czech Republic is often a fairytale land in general. If you read descriptions of almost any part of the country by travellers from Western Europe or America, the words ‘fairytale castle’ are bound to pop up somewhere. When I was a kid, I could never relate to Grimm’s Fairy Tales because the forests I knew were oak and beech, with a sprinkling of pine plantations. For me, Hobbits and The Shire seemed a far more likely proposition. But when I saw the Beskid mountains for the  first time, with their impenetrable spruce forests and dark cabins of hewn timber I realised where the Grimms were coming from.
These fairy tales then, are a part of the culture which the kids grow up with. Christmas isn’t Christmas without them, like pantomimes and James Bond films in Britain. And like pantomimes and Bond films, there’s a certain general formula to follow, where the good guys win and everything works out just fine in the end. So when the family pub on the edge of our local forest advertised an upcoming Pohadkovy Les, it seemed like the ideal way to spend a Spring Saturday with the family.

Pohadkovy Les – Fairytale Forest part II: The Rain.

The rain started about a week ago and has barely let up since. It came with unusually high winds and together they’ve been knocking down forests and flooding towns across the country. The comments on the pub’s Facebook page suggested the event might even be cancelled but Czechs always seem to be surprised when it rains. Personally, I’ve felt right at home for the last week, with roads turning into rivers and the wind howling around the buildings carrying off roof tiles, branches and small mammals. We grow up with this in Britain but the Czechs aren’t used to it and nobody seems to own a rain coat! Instead, they all own umbrellas and the towns are full of people walking around poking each others’ eyes out and soaking wet from the shoulders down. Things did not bode well for the Fairytale Forest.
However, in a surprising twist, the organisers decided to pull the assorted characters in from the forest and hold the event on the field next to the pub. It was a bold decision but if 2014 really is an El Nino year then they could, once again, be trend-setters! We wrapped Our Kid up in his waterproof suit, packed extra clothes, messed around for a truly amazing length of time and finally arrived just as the whole thing was starting to pack up.
In a scene worthy of any British village fair, the good people of Poruba were hawking their wares, peddling their artifacts and ignoring the drizzle with a smile. Among a scattering of roofing debris, torn branches and displaced mammals, a lady artistically twisted some balloons into a dog for Our Kid. Our Dog mistook them for juicy sausages and came away sorely disappointed.

Home-made Fried Stuff being hawked and peddled in the drizzle.

Our Dog checking that the balloons are not, in fact, juicy sausages.

Our Kid with his balloon dog. Our Dog still disappointed that it isn’t made of sausages.
Around the folorn-looking maypole, giants, devils and princesses were clearing up their stalls after a clearly brave attempt to brighten people’s lives up despite the weather. The princesses seemed to have come off worst as their flowing skirts had been flowing over the wet grass all morning and had succumbed to rising damp. We complimented them all on their costumes, thanked them for braving the weather and then escaped inside to sit next to the fire before anyone else thought of it.

The Maypole looking more like an October pole.
Pohadkovy Les - Fairytale Forest. Czech traditions. The mushrooms have lost their magic for Our Dog.
The mushrooms have lost their magic for Our Dog.

Our Kid resisting the lure of the Gingerbread House

Liška Bystrouška – The Cunning Little Vixen. Whatever she did that was so cunning, we missed it.

A king, reduced to serfdom because of the weather.

The cast, still smiling despite being cold and damp. Heroes all!
Inside, I managed to choose the only table with a broken leg, order drinks, sit down, hit the broken leg with my foot and spill my beer all over Our Kid. In front of everyone. I soaked my only child in beer and everyone saw me do it. If I had any shame, it would’ve killed me!
Luckily, we had come in to sit next to a fire, so I changed his wet stuff for the dry stuff in my bag and hung the wet stuff up to dry. This gave us enough time to dine on a particularly smelly cheese called Tvarůžky while Our Kid experimented with toasting bread without a toasting fork.
Our Kid's clothes recovering from my little accident with the table and the beer. Pohadkovy Les - Fairytale Forest. Czech traditions.
Our Kid’s clothes recovering from my little accident with the table and the beer.

A nice glass of foaming beer and some VERY interesting cheese await you in the pubs of Moravia!

Our Kid’s brief experiment with fork-less toasting revealed some serious flaws in the concept.
By this time, the fairy-tale folk had packed up and gone, most of the customers had left and the bar staff were cold and damp so we paid up, thanked them for their efforts and headed off into the forest for a stroll in the fresh air and drizzle. Our kid’s balloon dog had started to come undone and resembled a model of the Ebola virus more than a dog but his interest had shifted to the patterns on the tree stumps and the way the water dripped from the trees.

Inflatable Ebola, anyone?

Our Lass with Our Kid standing on the stump of a tree that was a sapling when the First World War broke out.

Every day brings something new, if you only know how to look…
As we tried to walk, he stumbled from one tree to another, hypnotised. While we worried about getting to the bus stop in time, his world was filled with the texture of the leaves and the way the light reflected off the droplets of water. Watching him there, totally oblivious to bus times and weather conditions, was a reminder of how magical a place a forest always is if you know how to look at it properly.

Friday, March 27, 2015

On Behalf of the Greater Cleveland German American Community, Ambassadors David and Renate jakupca offer Condolences to Familys connected to the German Wings Tradegy

American Cultural Ambassadors David und Renate Jakupca am Freitag ehrte die Opfer der Germanwings-Jet, abgestürzt.
Amerikanische kulturelle Botschafter
David und Renate Jakupca am Freitag ehrte die
Opfer der Germanwings
4U 9525-Jet, abgestürzt.


    "Wir waren tief betrübt über den Verlust von Germanwings
Jst Absturz mit 148 Personen an Bord zu hören", schrieb der Botschafter. "Dieses Unglück endete die Leben von Hunderten von Menschen, Besatzungsmitglieder und Passagiere und führte zu unermesslichen Trauer und Verlust an ihre lieben. Teilen die Trauer und den Schmerz der internationalen Gemeinschaft, wollen wir die Angehörigen der unschuldigen Opfer Kraft des Geistes.
Wir möchten unser herzliches Beileid den Familien und Freunden der Beteiligten zu senden. In dieser schwierigen Zeit, all jene, die von dieser Tragödie betroffen sind in unsere Gedanken und Gebete."sagte sie.

Links:
Germanwings
https://www.germanwings.com/en.html


Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/24/us-france-crash-airbus-lufthansa-idUSKBN0MK0ZP20150324

NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/27/world/europe/germanwings-crash.html?_r=0

Wall Street Journal
http://www.wsj.com/articles/germanwings-pilot-locked-out-of-cockpit-before-plane-crash-1427359266

BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32030270



Thursday, March 5, 2015

International Women's Day 2015 Theme: MAKE PEACE HAPPEN for ALL the WORLDS CHILDREN

Ambassador Renate - First Lady of Peace
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
Each year International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. United Nations and other organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.

This year, Ambassador Renate Jakupca of Berea, Ohio is being honored by the Siebenbuergen Saxons of Germany for creating a revolutionary method for making a sustainable culture of Peace for All the Worlds Children and establishing a whole new scientific field in Environmental Arts.  Her pioneering work on Peace through the 'Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts' has had a significant impact on future peace endeavors and research. A risk-taker, Ambassador Renate has always done things her way: Committed to preserving our planet, she has dedicated her life to finding new and intelligent solutions to address the environmental challenge.

Passionate and determined, she is convinced that education for all is the key to a better world and, through her work at the ARK in Berea and International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA), she hopes to contribute to promoting science as a captivating and fun career path for all the Worlds Children.
An article entitled “Ambassador Renate: A Siebenbürger Sachsen Immigrant’s Peace Trail to Cleveland Ohio“ by author Eugene Schiopota, chronicles’ her trail from Europe to Cleveland, Ohio and into the Worlds Peace Makers Hall of Fame. 
Passionate and determined, she is convinced that education for all is the key to a better world and, through her work at the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA), she hopes to contribute to promoting science as a captivating and fun career path for all the Worlds Children.
Link;
http://www.americantowns.com/oh/cleveland/news/international-womens-day-2015-theme-make-peace-happen-22182660