25
FEB
2015

Touring The Zoo: An Incredible Perk to Teaching English in Prague

Hi!!! My name’s Meg. My husband and I moved to Prague to teach English in November and we have been giving ourselves high fives ever since! We have had so many incredible opportunities here in Europe because of this decision and the wonderful people we’ve met.
One of those opportunities was this past Sunday at 10:30 am. Normally, I like to sleep until 10:30 or later if I’m able on a Sunday. However, through the cold and drizzly morning, I trekked, because TEFL Pro Prague was providing a group of us with the chance to have a personal guided tour through the world renowned Prague Zoo. When I woke up and realized it was cold, and it would be so much warmer in my bed, I second guessed my acceptance to this invitation. However, I am so glad I did not follow through with that hesitation. Just showing up at the zoo and meeting a few students (who are currently in the process of learning how to teach English in Prague and loving it of course), showed me that this would be a great day.
Our guide, Marek, is an English student with Lingua Professional. His job at the zoo requires him to show investors, celebrities, and general V.I.P.s around while entertaining them with heart warming, tear jerking, and/or shocking stories about the animals. While Marek is well-versed in touring people around in Czech, he feels he needs more practice to show them around and tell his stories in English. Our English speaking group was very impressed with his level of the language, but was happy to oblige this practice that resulted in an incredible Sunday.
So, our little group was then guided by Marek through the zoo like we were a gaggle of V.I.P.s. We started in the front with the flamingos. Gorgeous birds and I found out that the coloring of flamingoes is affected by their diets. I need to watch more animal planet apparently.
We were then charmed by a record setting exhibit of gharials. These alligator looking reptiles are just six of the 197 left on the planet. With a very specific requirement for their habitat conditions, this is one of the biggest exhibits of gharials that exists. This is because of the incredible care that the Prague Zoo takes of these animals. What a fantastic sight. You should all teach English in Prague, so you can check out these crazy eyes too! :)
We were then raced to a reptile house because we were told we had an “extraordinary opportunity”. We thought, maybe he has his adjectives mixed up? We’re just at a zoo. What kind of “extraordinary opportunities” lie here? But then we were rushed through a camouflage door and told to quickly remove our jackets because we only had 5 minutes. Another door was opened and the humid air hit our faces along with the surprise that we were now INSIDE the tortoise exhibit!! Normally in a zoo you are stuck on the side of the glass with the fingerprints and smudges, but we were allowed to touch, pet, and even take selfies with animals that can age to over 100 years old!! What an extraordinary opportunity this certainly was, we kept looking at each other in disbelief, was this really happening? Are we this lucky? Is this was teaching English in Prague got us?? The answer is YES! :)
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It’s hard to breathe after you’ve had such an unexpected exciting time with a bunch of tortoises, but we soldiered on, grateful and excited for more stories and extraordinary times. Our guide continued to amaze us with incredible stories about the Zoo’s floods in 2002 and 2013. There were triumphs and tragedies. Many of the heroes and heroins from these stories are still in exhibits today and we were able to visit with them. We were taken through the gorilla exhibit and by the cheetahs and tigers.
What you won’t see, is that we were also taken behind the exhibits where the staff members feed the animals. This is not an advertisement for my iPhone’s battery. It died, so I’m unable to show you any more, but just know that the end of the trip with hippos, giraffes, elephants, and backstage leopards was just as fantastic as the beginning. I’ve got to say I feel pretty lucky to have stumbled upon this “extraordinary opportunity” to teach English here in one of the coolest cities on earth. Thanks so much to TEFL Pro Prague for setting this up. I hope many other students will be lucky enough to experience this as well.

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