After this past weekend, I am pretty much done with my semester abroad in terms of academia. I have just under two weeks left, and really, there is not much left that I am required to do. It is increasingly becoming a weird feeling. I see my parents for the first time in months, and many of the people here I may never see again. The end crept up so fast, as I assume it did for everyone else abroad. If I were to guess, just as the JYA office had once mentioned, it is not until you get fully integrated into the culture, a few months in, that you lose track of time and realize that it is time to go home.
These next two weeks will be spent trying to successfully balance returning to all my favorite places around Prague for nostalgia and to experience all the eventful opportunities Prague offers that I have so far failed to incorporate into my time spent here. I want to go to the zoo for sure. Hopefully, it is still open during these cold, harsh times. I know zoos are not totally ethically acceptable, but I would at least like to make one trip to the Prague Zoo to make sure the animals are living somewhat well. Also, there are a bunch of amazing pubs that I still need to swarm around, talk to some pretty birds and ruminate with some theater types. You know the form.
Then comes editing my film. I just spent the last week putting the finishing touches on it and actually filming it which proved to be one of the most mentally and physically exhausting experiences of my life. Incidentally, it will hopefully be one of the most rewarding as well; I receive my processed film tomorrow from the studio. I am sure editing will keep my film partner Hudson and me up late at nights, but for me, it is such an easy, creative, and mostly calm way to end the hectic process of making a film.
That hectic process I am talking about made the past week my favorite time spent in Prague during the whole semester. My entire semester was basically preparing me to shoot this film, and those days on set were so fulfilling, fast-paced, and extremely fun as I finally got to apply everything I had learned.
The last day of filming could not have been more perfect, either. Offsetting the aching pain of waking up at 5 in the morning was a bevy of breakfast food and an assortment of espresso and juice drinks for the cast and crew’s consumption courtesy of the wonderful catering on set. The food they prepared throughout the entire day was actually so delectable that it happened to be the best thing I had all semester, narrowly beating out my preferred ramen. The best part of the day was obviously filming, but by the end of it, I was admittedly very tired.
However, I was not going to give into my exhaustion to sleep, and pass up what was occurring at night. My school, FAMU, held its annual Christmas party. This was no ordinary Christmas party, though. In the massive six floor behemoth of a building that FAMU inhabits, another four schools from around the city were invited with a plus one. I do not know how many students that entails, but it was an overwhelming amount. Then there were three musical acts dispersed amongst each floor, which when you count the two set ups in the basement, came out to about twenty musical acts. There were two makeshift bars on each floor and a trove of buzzed professors to go along with them. For me, I enjoyed frolicking around the entire building, bumping into dear friends and admired acquaintances, and dancing my tush off to nearly every single beat to ooze through my ear canal. I really do not feel like I did that much at the party, but by 4am, I came to realize that time had rapidly flown by. In a rare moment of contemplative contrast and questionable feelings, I must say that the best party of the year had indeed taken place in my school.
That was my past week. It was undoubtedly the best time spent abroad for me. I have one more week left. Let’s hope it proves to be just as special.