A volunteer serving in Poland, talks about how the experience of serving at Reymontówka and the first week of teaching in Poland.
For our team, today was the last day of our first week of teaching in Poland! All of us have been quite impressed with the eagerness of the students to learn and their willingness to speak to us in English!
Yesterday Molly and Bob, after finishing teaching for the day, went on a walking tour of Siedlce, hosted by our great guide, Kate, the teacher of English at Grala. In spite of sore feet, knees and hips, we enjoyed the city museum which presently has a great photo collection of local life taken prior to WWII. Sadly, the photographer who created this collection, Mr. Siedlicki died in the Treblinka concentration camp. A special treat was our visit to the Catholic Museum of Siedlce, a visit personally hosted by its gracious Director. The highlight was viewing the 400 year old painting of St. Francis by El Greco, a masterpiece of art, way ahead of its time in its style. The afternoon was topped off by Molly’s purchase of two beautiful Polish tablecloths found in shops in Siedlce.
Bob woke us up this morning with the quote of the day from Dolly Parton. He quizzed us about the originator of this quote before sharing it.
Breakfast consisted of a delicious Polish “omelet”, essentially a folded pancake enclosing tasty jam. After breakfast Dorota then brought us up to speed on our weekend logistics, including our Saturday trip to Warsaw, the Saturday evening events, and the Sunday 25th anniversary celebration to be held here at Reymontówka. At that time Rob asked which event was “more dressier”; i.e., we are still working on English grammar!
Bob and Molly were invited to attend a school meeting at Grala School where the principal gave the student both “good news” – student awards – and “bad news” – stop messing up the coat room and do not plug the toilets with paper! How quickly smiles turned into sad expressions! In our 6th grade class at Grala Molly tossed an American football to any child who answered correctly; and we learned how easy it is to start a sports riot…almost!
For our mid-day dinner we enjoyed a great whitefish with dill tartar sauce. Bob and Molly were not too hungry, having been served a borscht soup and delicious “lazy noodle” dish at the Grala school. And both Gary and Meghan enjoyed a piece of birthday cake brought by their students. And both Gary and Meghan enjoyed a piece of birthday cake brought by their students who today were celebrating a birthday.
A number of team members – Lori, Meghan, Betsy and Kenita – spent the morning with young children because their older students went on a field trip to the Wedel candy factory in Warsaw. Lucky kids! Three older students stayed behind and Margaret graciously agreed to be their teacher. And other members of the team left for Kotuń early in the afternoon to tour the town before the afternoon teaching sessions at the local Community Center.
The evening meal was again excellent. We had wonderful kebobs accompanied by rice and salad.
All of us are looking forward to the upcoming, exciting weekend, celebrating 25 years of Global Volunteers work in Poland!