work as a volunteer. this is a Great way to meet other solo travellers.
Enjoy working as an English teacher volunteer as part of your travels.
Whenever I am asked what I like best about travelling it is, without a shadow of a doubt, the interesting people I meet. So after a long week of solitary wandering around the city of Brno with its amazing city sights and historical buildings. I find myself getting frustrated and lacking inspiration. I am in a flat blank mood and I hate it when that happens.
I have decided to do another English immersion course, teaching some Czech participants to improve their English speaking skills. Again I am back with the company Angloville and staying in a lovely remote country Hotel, two hours from Brno. Even though I enjoy travelling solo, I feel it is good to interact with others doing the same. For five days we are going to share meal, stories and experiences.
Robert and Monika are the first Czech couple I am introduced to and I sit between both of them in our ice breaking session. This is where we are encouraged to get to know each other as a group.
We all sit in a large circle. Native English speakers and our slightly, some very, nervous participants. From now on and for the next five days, they must only speak English. They have all told themselves, subconsciously that they are going to be bad at it. It is our aim to build up their confidence.
Getting to know each other.
This exercise is commonly used. We are each selected a partner and given 5 minutes to introduce ourselves and find out as much as possible about each other. Each one of us then, has to stand up and present to the whole group the information that we have learned.
I quickly find out from Robert that he has been learning English for a short time and has two young sons. He is also the CEO of a business that produces mechanical equipment for theatres and concert halls. His nervous smile is warm and we both giggle as he tries his best to describe a little about me, apologising after, for his bad but basic English. This exercise gives everybody the chance to hear a little about our group and the participants. It certainly succeeds in breaking the ice.
Chatting afterwards with Robert and Monika, I am impressed to hear their enthusiasm. “It is important for us to use English in our business they explain. As their company expands, they are required to use the language in a professional capacity. “Some of my customers are German Robert explained and English is a common language that is spoken between us. Many of the participants, I later came to understand, were attending the course to improve their English for their careers and business opportunities.
choosing a mentor.
As with most of these programs, participants are required throughout the course to choose a mentor to help them with a presentation. I was thrilled when Robert chose me, especially as his subject was about his business and I was eager to learn more about it. We scheduled an hour every morning to work on his presentation together. Although this is scary for our participants, they do gain so much from it, especially when they can say that they have stood up and achieved something that they can be proud of.
Robert was able to open up my interest when he decided to give a presentation about his company’s involvement in an amazing project. The Zaryade Concert Hall in the centre of Moscow, a flagship of President Putin, and here was I, proudly helping him to create his presentation. my aim, to free some of the passion and pride he had for this project.
The Zaryadye Concert Hall has state of the art technology.
Fully inspired, I was able to help him translate his excitement on to the pages of his powerpoint as well as helping him to deliver some near but perfect pronunciation, I will add here and I know he will forgive my humour when I say Robert had difficulty pronouncing the word ‘choir‘ and repeatedly turned it into ‘queer‘ We did giggle when the sentence became Orchestras and queers….oops so we changed it to ‘singing groups‘ That is the beauty of our versatile and beautiful language.
Robert’s company was contacted by Moscow two years ago to become involved in this chalenging project. This was to supply and install a complete mechanical theatre technology. Adjustable and movable seating for the audience and also to supply the mechanics to change the stage in a matter of minutes to have a completely flat stage transformed into seating for a large orchestra or a choir (Singing Group).
Robert proudly delivered his presentation and invited his audience to visit the concert hall on their next visit to Moscow.
He has certainly given me the inspiration to put this location on my bucket list now, especially as I had the privilege, getting to know Robert and his colleague Monika. It goes to show you never know who you are going to meet. This has been one of the highlights of my visit to Brno, even though it has resulted in me writing about an amazing building in Moscow. Just so you know, Robert’s company is www.gradiortech.cz Check them out!
Next:- Cheltenham Bus Station…..I believe in contrast.
MORE ON BRNO.
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