Farewell to Karen (hopefully only temporarily)

Karen © Ricky Yates

A person who has featured in several of my previous blog posts is Karen, an American who came to Prague in November 2008 to train as a TEFL Teacher at the Caledonian Language School. A few weeks later, she found St. Clements and became a regular worshipping member of the congregation.

Unfortunately, along with another American young lady called Anna, Karen was forced to leave the Czech Republic at the end of April 2009 because of the total incompetence of the Caledonian School in helping both young ladies obtain work permits and residence visas. A second visa application, via the Czech consulate in Chicago, was also unsuccessful. Full details of what happened can be found in my earlier post entitled TEFL Teachers – Caledonian School and Broken Promises.

A few weeks after I started this blog, Karen became a regular visitor and . . . → Read More: Farewell to Karen (hopefully only temporarily)

TEFL Teachers – Caledonian School and Broken Promises

Caledonian School © Ricky Yates

Longstanding readers of my blog will remember that, back in May, I wrote about Karen and Anna, two American TEFL teachers from my congregation who were forced to leave the country because of the failure of their employer, the Caledonian School, to obtain work permits and visas for them. The original posts entitled ‘More Problems with Czech Bureaucracy’ and “Update on my previous post ‘More Problems with Czech Bureaucracy’”, can be found by clicking on these titles.

I gained a certain amount of notoriety because of these posts and as a result, received an invitation to meet with Monika Kubátová, the Executive Director of the Caledonian School, so she could explain to me all that they were doing to try and resolve the issues I had blogged about. This meeting took place on Thursday 21st May. I wrote a further . . . → Read More: TEFL Teachers – Caledonian School and Broken Promises

Discovering the Power of Blogging!!!

The power of blogging © Marco Rullkoetter

I started this blog, mainly as a way to keep friends and family up-to-date with what my new life in Prague is like. It also has proved to be quite therapeutic and has helped me clarify my thinking by having to write things down in a form that others can read and understand.

From the outset, I have been very conscious that I am a public figure (albeit a minor one) and that what I post on my blog promptly appears in the public domain. Therefore, I have always tried to be accurate with my facts and distinguish clearly between what is fact, over and against what is my opinion. But I never really expected it to be read much beyond my former parishioners in Oxfordshire, UK, various family members and friends, and now increasingly by members of my Prague . . . → Read More: Discovering the Power of Blogging!!!

Update on my previous post ‘More problems with Czech Bureaucracy’

Schengen Visa – Image in public domain via Wikimedia

As I feared, Anna has suffered the same fate as Karen. Despite going in person to the Foreign Police three times this past week, accompanied by a Czech speaking friend, she has had to leave the country today. She was eventually told that her application for a work permit & residency visa, submitted in Berlin on 21st January 2009, would not be granted because she had exceeded the 90 days she was allowed to be in the Czech Republic as a tourist.

Anna sent me a text/SMS message with this information early on Wednesday afternoon. I rang her straight back and invited her to join Sybille & I for a meal at Grosetto that evening so I could learn more about her experience with the Foreign Police and also say a proper ‘Goodbye’. We had an . . . → Read More: Update on my previous post ‘More problems with Czech Bureaucracy’

More Problems with Czech Bureaucracy

Image taken from http://www.a-cesky-krumlov.com/guide#h4 assuming fair use. Please contact me if in breach of copyright

One of the things I was warned about before accepting an invitation to become Chaplain to a continental European Anglican Church, was having to cope with a high turnover of members of the congregation. Many people come to major European cities as exchange students, visiting lecturers or on short-term contracts for international companies. Therefore, they may only worship with you for a few months and then move on. Just as you feel you have got to know them, they are leaving. The constant round of farewells I was warned, could become quite dispiriting.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed so they say. Therefore when an American couple, Tom & Myra, came to St. Clement’s for the first time on my first Sunday last September, I soon discovered that they would only be worshipping . . . → Read More: More Problems with Czech Bureaucracy