Linden tree

In Mailbox this week: Charity projects covered on Radio Prague; the Czech national tree; 'beer spa'; author Josef Skvorecky. Listeners quoted: Marcel Voracka, Karin Roos, Anette Harris, Robbin McNeill, Jim and Barbara Wolford, Stanley Vorce, USA; Jim Van Wyck, Nancy Nickle, Canada.

Another week has passed and we are back again with Mailbox. We are very glad that your letters keep coming and you keep tuning in to our programmes.

A few e-mails have arrived to us in response to our recent programmes about charity projects. This one is from Marcel Voracka from Illinois.

"I am a regular listener of your program and I just heard about the helping dogs (helppes group). I currently live in Chicago, but I have also lived in Prague and my sister still lives there (in Dejvice). The reason for my email is because I would like to know the address of the helppes group and how I can donate. I especially like when you have conversations with older people about their lives. I also listen to 'Pametnici' on Czech Radio 6. Thank you and keep up the great broadcasting."

Thank you very much, Marcel, for your feedback. As regards the helping dogs project, you will find all the details on their website

On a related topic, Jim Van Wyck from Ontario, Canada, sent us this.

"I heard a report about the necessity to construct a children's hospice in the Czech Republic. I am involved with a junior hockey team that is coming to Prague in the fall. They may wish to do something to assist the effort."

Similar questions also came from Karin Roos and Annette Harris from the United States. Again, thank you very much for your interest. The details are to be found on the Klicek foundation website, at

Linden tree
This e-mail came to us from Robbin McNeill from the United States.

"My husband is from the beautiful Czech Republic. When he was growing up his mother would make tea from the spring blossoms of a tree. He told me it is the national tree of the Czech Republic. I wonder if you could tell me more about this tree please. We live in the USA and Ondrej tells me he has never seen this tree here. Any information you could give me about this tree would be appreciated. Do you know if it grows in the USA and whether it has an English name?"

The Czech national tree is the linden tree, tilia cordata in Latin or lipa in Czech. The tree and its significance were mentioned a few times in our programmes. We have also covered the tea, which is supposed to be good for curing colds. Here are several links to Radio Prague's articles about the linden tree.

Staying with Czech national heritage, Jimand Barbara Wolford from Kentucky, USA, asked us this question.

Photo: CTK
"We read about a 'beer spa' in the Czech Republic. Do you know where this is located? Thank you. By the way, our city, Owensboro, Kentucky, has a Sister City in the Czech Republic, Olomouc."

The beer spa has been opened in a family brewery in Chodova Plana near the town of Tachov in South Bohemia. And if you'd like to find out more about it, just listen to our programme this coming Thursday. Rob Cameron has travelled to Chodova Plana to enjoy the treatment and has covered it for Thursday's Panorama on Radio Prague.

Stanley Vorce from Arizona writes that he enjoys our new Czech language series, Czech by Numbers.

"Thank you for getting me more familiar with my Czech heritage. I live near the town of Chino Valley, Arizona USA. My Mother's family is Stejskal. Thank you for the heart you transmit from Prague... we will listen more."

Thank you very much for those kind words. Nancy Nickle from Canada writes she listens to us along with her husband every morning between 5:15 and 5:30 while they are having breakfast.

"My suggestion is that you interview a famous Czech couple residing in Toronto Professor Josef Skvorecky and Dr. Zdena Salivarova. I had the great good fortune to be present at the University of Toronto convocation when they each received an honorary degree (I believe that was in the early 1990's - I especially admired Dr. Salivarová's acceptance speech on that occasion - very touching). Never having met them, I would like to hear them interviewed on your program."

Thank you very much for listening to our programmes so early in the morning. We actually did interview Mr Skvorecky less than two years ago on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Dita Asiedu spoke to him in his native town of Nachod. The interview can be found on our website

And before we run out of time, here is our competition question for April. This month we are asking you to list all Czech Nobel Prize winners. It's up to you whether you chose to list only those who were Czech by nationality or all people those who were born in what is now the Czech Republic even though they were not ethnic Czechs.

Please send your answers to Radio Prague, 12099, Prague, Czech Republic or [email protected] by the end of April.