Message of the Day (shared by Pat): How wonderful it is that nobody need to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

After a sumptuous breakfast of cold cuts and American cheese, fresh bread, veggies, cereal, and an assortment of juices, and coffee and tea, the 238th Team of Global Volunteers convened in the library for its Orientation Meeting.  The ten (10) volunteers listened intently as Our Fearless Leader, Dorota, released a few facts: there have been nearly 3, 000 volunteers in the Poland country program; the doors opened for Poland in 1989 when communism was replaced by a democracy lead by the efforts of Lech Walesa; the first team of volunteers in Poland occurred in 1990,

The Team of Ten listed a number of Team Goals that will be reviewed and discussed during the next three (3) weeks and narrowed them down to the following Top Five:

1.  To facilitate teaching and learning of English.
2.  To be an International Ambassador.
3.  To encourage Team building.
4.  To support Global Volunteers goals.
5.  To learn about the Polish language, culture, and history.

With Dorota’s guidance, the Team of Ten listed a multitude of Characteristics of an Effective Team, to be flexible, punctual, patient, organized, tolerant, and a whole bunch of other great characteristics.

Then Dorota talked about the different grades and classes there are in Poland.
Dorota then distributed teaching assignments to the Team of Ten.  The usual schools will be included like Cisie, Spoleczna, Grala, a number of schools in Siedlce, etc.  Dorota emphasized the importance of the  Global Volunteers’ effort being dedicated to Kotun.  The small town of Kotun has expressed an interest in being included in the Global Volunteers’ effort…and the Team of Ten has responded.
Church was next on the Agenda.  A few went and a few stayed behind.
What a delicious lunch:  A delicious chicken soup with homemade pasta, pot roast, dumplings, and two cold salads.

After lunch and an hour and a half of free time, we thoroughly enjoyed the Lesson of Polish with Iwona, a former student of veteran Poland volunteer Pat. We learned some basic, yet important, words used every day in Poland. It was truly interesting listening to the volunteers repeating everything that Iwona said.  We tried our best…and remember, we’ve just started…all we can do is get better…and we will!

After Iwona’s teaching debut, the volunteers met with representatives of all of the schools and the Community Center of Kotun.  Suggestions were welcomed by the volunteers on what and how to prepare the lesson plans for the next three (3) weeks, what the students were taught in the recent past, suggestions on how to proceed, etc.

We had a wonderful bigos dinner last night.  Bigos is called Hunter’s Stew in English and consists of meat and sauerkraut in a tangy sauce.
Some of us watched a fantastic cultural program tonight.  Young Poles dressed in traditional folk costume…dancing, singing and having a blast!  What a great show to watch!
Man, to be young again…those kids were great!
What a great bunch of fellow volunteers!  I don’t know all of you yet, but I will.  What an exciting time we have ahead of ourselves.  We’ll have a fun time doing it!

Journal by Edmund.

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