Message of the day (Jim):
No one has the right to take for granted his own disadvantages over others in health, in talents, in ability, in success, in a happy childhood or congenial home conditions. One must pay a price for all these boons. What one owes in return is a special responsibility for other lives. (Albert Schweitzer, author of Teaching Reverence for Life.)

Today we experienced the “going to work” and “construction” traffic jam on the way to the Spoleczna Middle School in Siedlce. I liked the way Andrzej weaved his way around traffic and roundabouts, driving down side roads to get us to school on time.

At Cisie Elementary we had a wonderful celebration in honor of past, present, and hopefully future volunteers. Poland was the first country to request that volunteers teach English and now it’s an option in the Global Volunteer Program for all countries. The celebration began with the 4th grade children, in costume, dancing the Mazur beautifully. Then Iza and Jola led their Scouts in the Belgium dance, followed by songs or performances by several groups of children. The local dignitaries extended words of welcome and thanksgiving to the volunteers and hosts, commending them for their cooperation and efforts to improve the opportunities of the children through sharing language and culture. Afterward the hosts, dignitaries and volunteers gathered for coffee, cake and more conversation.

But that’s not the end of our unusual day. The staff at Cisie Elementary invited us for an evening picnic. It was quite a sight when everyone was roasting kielbasa over a roaring bonfire. We chatted, sang and danced. A special performance was given by Jim and Ed to the song “Pretty Woman” which delighted everyone. I think we have all learned to appreciate and enjoy the people of Poland and their customs!

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