Kristin LaRonca Parpel is an American-born Prague-based businesswoman, founder of the eponymous “KLP Coaching” and also a wife and mother of two. She had not actually planned to move out of the USA permanently, but after she met her future husband while she was travelling around the world after college, she decided to take a leap and started a new life in Prague. With an exception of a short period of time when she worked in New York City, she has lived in Prague for 23 years now.
Times were not always great for her. “When I moved here, it was difficult for me. Besides the fact that I didn’t speak Czech, the social norms were very different. I wasn’t used to taking my shoes off when I went into a house, people weren’t speaking during a meal, the way of life and the social interactions were simply just so different,” says Kristin.
Even though she loves living here, she misses some things about her homeland. “I think Czech society could be more open-minded and friendly. That is what I miss the most, besides of course my friends and family”. She also points out that the biggest difference between Czechs and Americans is in lifestyle. “Americans usually hang out with their friends at home, meanwhile Czechs usually meet in public places and also travel internationally all the time. Americans usually travel within the USA.”
Kristin and her husband Ondřej Parpel have two kids – Jasmine and Zachary. Even though they are from different countries, Kristen does not find parenting together difficult. At home, she speaks English to their children, and her husband speaks Czech. The family of four celebrates Czech traditions as well as American ones. “We celebrate Thanksgiving, — this year we had around 50 international friends in our house. Usually we spend the summer in the States, so we celebrate 4th of July there. For Christmas, we celebrate both days. So Ježíšek comes to us on the 24th and Santa Claus in the morning of December 25th,” says Kristin with a smile on her face.
Her professional career is very successful. As an executive coach, she spends most of her days speaking with people about business issues – in hopes of helping them find solutions or achieve their goals. She also works with management teams, helping them to improve their communication and leadership skills. Besides running her own business, she also volunteers and is a member of a board of UNICEF, Forum 2000 and the Anglo-American University in Prague. The most remarkable career success for her, though, is the fact that she loves her job.
She hopes that after her kids graduate and go off to university, she will expand her business to Africa and the Middle East. ” I would love to focus on the empowerment of women in business in these two regions.”
Text vznikl v rámci kurzu Angličtina pro žurnalisty pod vedením Mgr. Aleny Proškové.