our home far away

Shelby, a volunteer serving in Poland, talks about her last days teaching English to children and Reymontowka camp, what she calls “Our home far away.”

Tuesday morning: Again the eager sun rose over Reymontowka, our home far away, at its usual 4:30. Slowly the muffled, comforting sounds of the camp starting another day echoed down the halls (in a charming mix of Polish and English) and brought us gently out of sleep. At a hearty breakfast of ham salad (in the Polish style), fresh breads, cereals, yogurts, fruits, tea, coffee, and ‘all the fixin’s’ the teachers discussed the day ahead. Classes began as usual, though as we discussed at breakfast, the usual will not be usual for much longer. (The volunteers are realizing a growing apprehension to the nearing of camps end; ‘Missing it already’.) The overarching theme of the day seemed to be preparation for the parents’ day. Joanna, Mark, and Jordan worked on a teaching and translating a special song, as well as word Bingo. Amy also worked on a song for Friday, along with animal recognition and charades. Amanda’s group worked on Friday’s presentation along with the daily report of weather and expansion of the students vocabulary. Megan’s group learned and discussed occupations and ‘what do I want to do when I grow up’. Then ended class by practicing a song. Lori taught her class about the special relationship between Q and U with a song and collage project, while Erica taught and discussed the Happy Birthday song with her students in honor of her sons 6 birthday taking place at home. Vanessa and Shelby teamed up to bring their children a riddled and frenzied scavenger hunt around the grounds after a brief practice for Fridays program.

our home far away
our home far away

3rd – 4th period the students joined in the main room to watch the ‘Crudes’ in English, with Polish subtitles.
After the lessons, the volunteers left for Warsaw. Sylvia guided us as the trusty yellow van made its way through the city; visiting the lovely Royal Palace, the Chopin Monument and Old town. The history packed film at the museum caused us to wonder at the miracle of the beautiful city and the strength of the Polish people, after learning that 85% had been destroyed during the Second World War.
Joanna, Mark, and Jordan visited Siedlce once again for a relaxing afternoon of shop and exploration.

A tired , hungry, but happy group of volunteers returned to a satisfying dinner of pizza in the Polish style. Lesson plans were next on the agenda as we worked away in the teachers lounge. The vibrant and adorable fashion show and voting of the ‘nicest camper’ ended the night. A tight race ended with the election of Kuba and Kalina.

Again it was a wonderful day, in Poland, our home far away.
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