Staying in Prague makes you feel like you’re at the center of everything. The world (or the country, at least) surely must revolve around this massive city that is home to more than a million people and more restaurants and pubs than you could ever hope to visit. Alas, there’s nothing like a bit of travel to show you just how wrong you are.

Vyškov, a town of just more than 20,000 inhabitants, is about a three-hour drive from Prague. Sitting in the stunning region of Moravia, the town gives a very different feel from the capital city. Nobody needed to remind us of the differences as we stepped out of the bus into a humid 35° C (yes, I used Celsius).

With plenty of free time during our first night there, exploring this charming countryside seemed like the only option. A trail from the military academy to the town provided perspective on life in small-town Czech Republic, as we watched neighbors converse in their backyard gardens, families taking bike rides through the hills and locals enjoying some “pivo” in the town square.

The next morning brought a different adventure. Throughout the day we toured the military academy’s training facilities, and heard from a range of military personnel about all the training the academy conducts. The program most applicable to our group is their special training course for embedded journalists — the toughest program in their entire repertoire.

“It’d be almost impossible to do your job without touching the military,” presenter K. Klinovsky said, while discussing his interactions with civilians and embedded journalists. After 24 years in the military, his personal experiences have influenced the training journalists and civilians receive at the camp. Some people may think it’s like it is “in the American movies,” he said. But the risks are real, and taking on protecting civilians while caring for your own soldiers is not a light matter.

“These are not my soldiers, they are my sons,” Klinovsky said. He described the frustration of having to risk the life of his men to protect those who choose to work with the military. The relationship between the troops and civilians may not be a positive one at first, or ever, but the training at the academy teaches journalists how to work in groups and follow military commands, preparing them for interactions during future reporting.

I am new to blogging, and tend to be better at telling stories through pictures rather than words. Check out a few of my images from the past two days by clicking the pictures in the gallery above.

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