Ryan Tonk’s Diary
Mountain Waters of the Czech Republic

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May 30, 2009: Travel to Prague

May 30 me and prague I have arrived safely in Prague!!! The flight was very nice, and enjoyably un-eventful. I was a little apprehensive about finding the hostel when I got here, but a kind taxi driver brought me right to my destination, and for less money than I had expected. As soon as I got settled in my room, I grabbed a quick shower and headed out to the streets. The receptionist at the hostel pointed me in the right direction. It is a Saturday, so I am able to follow most of the other tourists around. I saw a monastery, the Prague Castle, and several other very old sites. It is cold and damp today, so I found a café to have some boiled ham and a pint of Czech’s finest, Pilsner Urquell, very satisfying. I walked around a little more, and now I am back in my room resting and have only two hours before I meet up with the Earthwatch team. I am very excited to meet the people that I will be spending the next two weeks with. 

1st dinner in prague It is now the evening, and I have met all but one of my team members. Three people are from Fairfield University in Connecticut: Russ, Rachel and Martha. They are all young students, very idealistic personalities. Bill Roche is a fellow Alcoan originally from Ireland, but now living in Australia. Cathy works for Ford and lives in Detroit and there is Misae Tanaka from Yokohama, Japan. They are all very interesting people. Josef Krecek, our Principal Investigator (PI), met us and he seems to be very hospitable and easily shares information with us. He teaches at Charles University in Prague and has two colleagues that he brought along with us. Petr is a graduate student and Dobra is an older gentleman who is a technician and will be our driver. He does not speak English, which is a shame, because he seems to have the most open and joking personality. He tries to kid around with us, but needs help translating from Petr quite often. Josef took us out to dinner tonight to a local restaurant for a typical Czech meal of beef, potato dumplings and cabbage and of course some Pivo (beer). After that we attended a baroque concert in a church. There was an organ player along with a tenor and soprano singer. It was very nice. We were told that Mozart once played on the same organ in the same church. After that Josef left us and we found a local gathering point to sit and get to get to know each other more. The other team members who are not Alcoans told us that they are on this trip at their own expense. The students are doing it as part of their studies, and the others are doing it just for their personal satisfaction. I am realizing now what a great opportunity that Alcoa has presented.

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Ryan Tonk