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Spojenie – “connection”

We’re in Žilina, Slovakia as part of a cross-cultural comparison of Czech culture and the arts.  Our hosts at Stanica Žilina-Záriečie are several young people who created an arts center out of an abandoned train station.  Each night they put on performances or host gallery shows in one of the most progressive arts consortiums I’ve ever seen.

Today, my class has set to the task of volunteering at the center.   We have a choice between creating mosaics, or raking leaves.  Only a few people can do each task; no one wants to rake, so I opt for that chore.  We’re supposed to switch at some point but I have a feeling that won’t happen.  Oh well, I need the exercise and fresh air.


Fall in Slovakia is something to behold.  This progressive country has yet to steam-roll over its natural beauty in pursuit of industry, and the concern for Slovakia’s environment is evident in the many still abandoned castles set amongst coloring leaves.  I’ve never seen mountains before coming to Slovakia; the only thing to look up at in New York City is metal and glass.  To be surrounded by such thick piles of sediment excites me. Perhaps, that’s why I’m alright with raking leaves.

In New York, there are no leaves to rake.