Marching in the Czech Republic is a very interesting experience, and quite different than Marching in Germany.
One thing is the police escort we got, which is much bigger than what we had with us in the beginning of the March. But another thing entirely are the human interactions we've had so far.
When we walk through towns and people see us marching, they smile, but oftentimes when they hear us shout out "Peace for Syria" in Czech, the smiles suddenly melt away, changing into looks of dismay and discomfort. We've even had some middle fingers directed our way. It all makes us a lot more aware of refugee-issue tensions present in this part of Europe.
It would be so easy to jump to conclusions and say: Czech people are this and that. But we don't and never will. You know why?
Because apart from the nameless faces who turn away or outwardly disregard what we're doing, we get to look into the eyes of numerous individuals, who are so open and hospitable and warm and kind and... and! Take yesterday, for example:
We've arrived in a town called Litomerice and reached the evening assembly place. Litomerice's inhabitants knew ahead of time where they'd find us, and find us they did.
It was -11 degrees Celsius but ever since we got there, we'd been hearing a knock on the door, about 2 minutes apart. And every time we opened the door, there'd be a smiling face of a Czech lady carrying in a huge pot of warm food. It was only 5pm and we already had 10 (sic!) pots full of delicious, hearty meals and soups. None of the ladies even spoke English and they were so timid, they'd just smile, hand over the food and leave, not even giving us enough time to take a picture!
We know that our cultural story-telling tends to focus on the negative, loves to generalise and looks for sensation.
When you only watch the news, only read newspapers or only listen to the politicians fight, it's easy to think everyone's against everybody else. It's easy to think this world is messed up and people don't care. Yes, in many ways this world of ours is messed up BUT make no mistake - most of us care.
Being a part of this March and experiencing that care over and over again makes us think: there's still hope.
Will you join us?