A message from Margaret McGuinn, Earthwatch volunteer, Mountain Waters of the Czech Republic
I just completed the post expedition evaluation form, and felt constrained by the limited space in which to describe just how exceptional a leader we had on my recent Earthwatch expedition.
Josef Krecek was an inspiration to our group, not only for his excellent teaching about our fieldwork, but for his gentle encouragement of all of us, with our varied levels of physical ability and intellectual background. He also was the finest kind of leader I can imagine for Earthwatch in that he wanted to respond to our curiosities about his country and his experiences growing up under Communism.
Whatever we asked, he responded with a fund of information. He described the history of glassmaking and told about music in Prague, arranging on our first night in Prague for us to hear a Baroque concert and meet the man who cares for the Church organ, on which Mozart played. When I later told him of my interest in Opera, he arranged for us all to see one in Liberec, an excellent Opera House near our site. Josef shared many stories about the shift from Nazi occupation to Communist control, and its effects on his family; he told us about Czech writers and artists and about Czech cuisine. He made each day slightly different, mixing work of various sorts with something pleasurable, like a hike up Mount Jizera, a visit to the site of the Riedel glassworks factory, or a stop at a pub for a beer.
Josef embodies the belief that international relations improve as two people connect with each other. He lives this practice.
2008 Earthwatch volunteer
Find out more about Josef Krecek and his Earthwatch expedition by visiting the project web page.